Chapter Eight

The Vow

Mayme’s sudden jerk on Eli’s arm has caught him off guard and causes a momentary loss of balance. We stumble into an entryway that gets its only illumination from a bare light bulb at the top of a stairway. Eli removes his hat as we pass two mailboxes on the left. The first step is only about four feet from the entry. The stairway is too narrow for him to be next to her. She quickly ascends and stops on the top landing at her door. Eli stops on the last step before the landing which has a door to each side. He waits while Mayme unlocks the door on the right. There has been no conversation since the sudden jerk on his arm. Eli follows her in, turns and watches her as she rotates the light switch on the wall just inside the door. She closes the door and hangs the key on a nail on the hinge side of the door casing. She slips her coat off and hangs it on the left of four empty hooks on the inside of the door. He has already unbuttoned his coat and took the liberty of hanging it on the second hook. She then turns with her back to the door and announces nervously, “This is the living room.” Mayme, in spite of obvious uneasiness, is trying to act nonchalant as she grabs his hat from his hand and tosses it onto the coffee table which sits in front of an

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upholstered dark brown sofa on the opposite wall from the entry door of the rectangular well lit room. Eli has remained next to Mayme as he surveys the large room. The room is large, about 20 feet by 20 feet, with no windows but it does have a skylight which, of course, is dark. In his mind he has envisioned that he is standing over the soda jerk and the sofa is over the pharmacist. In the wall to the left there are two closed doors. Centered between the doors is a large console radio with two medium sized high back chairs with armrests to each side. The chairs, upholstered in brown tweed, are positioned to face the radio as if it were a TV. The wall to the right also has two doors. The door on the left is closed and the door on the right is open which reveals a kitchen stove behind which is the only window I have seen. Between the doors is a small dining table with two chrome tubular metal chairs, one to each side. There is an open expanse in the middle of the room. Eli visualizes Geraldine and Mayme practicing their dance moves. “Please sit down” Mayme requests as she sits down on the right end of the sofa.

Because Mayme has gone to some length to assure Eli that she is not a floozy he feels an obligation to protect her reputation. As he sits down on the left end of the sofa he confesses, “I am feeling awkward, Mayme. I am not sure we should be here. What if Geraldine would come home? She might think badly of us.”

“You are right. There is a very slight possibility she could come home. Although she would be shocked to find me with a man in our apartment I guarantee you she is not the one to throw stones on that account. She has done this very thing on occasion. I would not define her as loose but she is no saint either. Right now Geraldine and her

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opinions are not my concern. I know nothing immoral is going to happen. May I put my head on your shoulder as we talk?”

“Of course,” Eli approves as he places his arm on the sofa backrest to make an inviting place for her head. Mayme crawls across the sofa then leans into him as she places her head on his shoulder. She kicks her shoes off as she folds her legs up on the sofa cushion. He places his left arm around her and all reservations about Geraldine coming home vanish from Eli’s thoughts. About a minute passes as the two revel in their new found closeness. Eli’s arm, which was simply resting on Mayme’s arm, now curls around her and gently tightens. As he does this she wriggles tighter against him and nestles her in head in closer over his heart. I think she may be listening to his heartbeat. The sounds from Kessler’s are barely audible.

Mayme whispers, “It is nice to have it quiet.” Then after just a moment of more silence she questions in the same soft voice, “What one more thing would you do if you didn’t have to ship out tomorrow?”

“I would want to date you for at least a couple of months before I left. This afternoon there was nothing I wanted but to get on the train and start my journey. Now everything has changed,” Eli comments with regretful tone.

“Although, I would have been disappointed if that hadn’t been your answer and it is very sweet of you to say that but I was wondering what you would have done with more time if I wasn’t in the picture.”

“Right now all I can think of is you, Mayme,” Eli confesses. “I am overjoyed to have found you. Give me a minute to mentally remove you from the picture. That sounds objectionable to me but I’ll try.” Eli is thinking back to yesterday to see if there were any unfinished things

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before Mayme. Then he starts rambling. “Well I heard that the Mount Rushmore carvings are as done as they are going to be. I wanted to see that and Old Faithful. Oh, and I want to see Hoover Dam. But those are just things I want to see not want to do. You know, Mayme, ever since Pearl the only thing I have wanted to do is go and give them Japs or Krauts a good whooping. Excuse my French but they have me pissed off. It turns out that now the Krauts are in my immediate future. The only thing long range thing I wanted to do is find the person I was meant to share my soul with and have children. That is you and now you cannot be removed from that picture. So that brings us back to dating you for a couple months is the only reason worth a delay.” There is a pause then he asks, “What would you like to do Mayme?” He begins to lightly caress her temple with the back side of his fingers. He thinks his fingers tips are too rough for her skin.

Mayme has started running her fingers around on Eli’s chest and stomach. She admits, “I would like to not work at that factory any more. I start watching the clock by 8:30 am. Each day is endlessly long doing the same repetitious motions over and over. I enjoy Geraldine but I would like to live by myself. Maybe I could enjoy her more if I didn’t live with her. Those are my short range desires but I have the same long range plan that you do. Oh, I want to finish college and be a teacher. As with you, everything has changed for me in these last couple hours. I would like to go to Iowa with you and sit and watch the animals. The only thing that I really want is endless days with you. You know what I just realized, Eli?”

“What?” Eli asks.

“Remember when I said how unlikely it is that I could know I wanted you for my husband after only a couple hours?”

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“I understand now,” Mayme realizes. “Ever since I was about eight I have fantasized about what qualities my husband would possess. In my mind I have built that man from the ground up. I’m not talking appearance but personality and values. That man has become my dream. I have always been in love with that dream. And here you are before me, a living manifestation of that dream.” There is another moment of silence as Mayme’s fingers find their way between the buttons on Eli’s shirt. “There is still something else I want, Eli. Something you can do for me.”

“I would do anything for you, Mayme,”

“This is enjoyable but I want more,” Mayme grumbles. “The ache has not been placated. We are not on the same level. In order to get face to face I would have to sit up and then we are not comfortable. The only way we can be equal to each other is if we lay down. May we move to the bedroom?”

“I agree. That would be better. I want you to know I feel the same intense desire but it is not sexual.” He wants to assure her that he is not another one of those guys. “I want my soul to touch your soul. We need to mix our bubbles.”

“Bubbles? What do you mean by that?”

“Oh,” Eli laughs, “I believe that our souls can extend beyond our bodies like a bubble that envelopes us. When we hug they get mixed.”

“Yes! I agree. We must mix our bubbles.” With that Mayme jumps up and grabs Eli’s hand. He arises and follows her. She goes to the left door on the wall with the radio and opens it. She enters and rotates the switch next to the door which activates a bright light in the ceiling.

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“Oh, that won’t do. It’s almost blinding,” Mayme protests as she goes over to the lamp on the night stand to the left of the head of the bed. “Turn off the overhead please, Eli”

He complies and closes the door which leaves the room in a soft warm glow. There is a window in the wall across from the door with sheer white curtains which are tied back. It also has a roll shade which has been already pulled down. There is just room enough to walk between the bed and wall on each side. Mayme removes, folds the white bedspread and sets it on a chair at the foot of the bed. As she goes back to the right side of the bed she says softly, “You should remove your shirt and pants or they will get wrinkled. I don’t want anyone to get suspicious.” Eli turns away, removes his shirt then, as he hangs it on the door knob. When he turns back she is sitting in her slip with her left foot on the floor and right leg folded on the bed so she is still facing him. She pats the bed and pleads, “Please lie down Eli. I want us to hold each other.” He sits on the edge of the bed’s left side facing away from her and takes off his shoes. He stands again momentarily removes his pants, folds them loosely but neatly and places them on the floor. Leaving his undershorts on he lies on his left side propped up on his left elbow facing her. She slides over to him and pulls his elbow out from under him so they are both on their sides facing each other. She moves in closer so their bodies are against each other and gives Eli a gentile kiss. I can feel Eli’s exhilaration. Eli kisses back with an ardor that increases with intensity as they fuel each other’s stinging desires for more intimacy. He starts stroking all of her body as she does his. It is as if their craving for each other had been pent up for all their lives. They roll so she is almost on top of him. The intense passion goes on for several minutes then Mayme heavily

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laments, “Oh, Eli, the desire is so overwhelming. I will not be appeased unless we give in to the passion. In my mind we are husband and wife as much as we would be after exchanging vows. They are just words and will add nothing to our relationship. Please Eli, it may be years and I need consummation now.” With that she rolls off the bed and removes the last of her clothing and quickly returns to Eli. The sight he has just beheld has him in awe and at the same time has intensified his passion.

Yet his promise to protect her reputation still controls him as he reminds, “Mayme, I want it too but you made me promise…”

“I didn’t know it could be this concupiscent. I have changed my mind. You promised you would do anything I asked.” Mayme then implores, “Lancelot, you are going into battle. I don’t want to talk anymore. Fulfill me now!” Her voice reaches a frenzy that now has consumed Eli. Mayme pulls him over on top of her and embraces him with her arms. As their fevered lovemaking continues she throws her legs around him and her arms squeeze him tighter.

Dear Reader, although Eli shared this experience with me I feel this is such a private moment between him and Mayme it would violate my ethics to share the details of their copulation. Please allow me this transgression without taking umbrage.

They have been speechless through this whole episode which has lasted maybe twenty minutes. She gently pushes Eli’s shoulder and he responds by rolling off to her right. Mayme breaks the hush with, “Eli!” a moment’s pause then, “That was unbelievable. I am completely drained. Until now, I had no interest in even light petting. It was unimaginable to me that I could do that.”

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“I had no idea that it could be like that. It’s beyond words.” They silently lie next to each other for a few minutes then she rolls on top of Eli. She slides her arms under him and curls her hands over his shoulders. He puts both arms around her in firm embrace. Her right cheek is against his right, he reaches up with his right hand, pulls her hair off his face and they stay locked together silently for a few more minutes. Mayme raises her head and softly kisses Eli. She rolls back to his side and puts her ear to his heart again. Then she rolls away from him and gets into the spoon position.

Mayme whispers “Hold me Eli.” He pushes up against her back, wraps his right arm tightly under her breasts and pulls her in. He then folds his legs into hers and even bends his feet up at the ankles to press the tops of his feet against her soles. Their bodies are perfectly aligned together. Eli is amazed at how it feels to hold her in this manner. He thinks heaven could be no better. In a normal but soft voice Mayme continues, “I never could have imagined what it would feel like to caress and be caressed by a truly compassionate and solicitous man. There is an arousal but it transcends the sexual in a colossal way because it does fulfill my soul. It would be impossible to try to tell someone what it feels like,” Mayme declares. “Amazingly, I have absolutely no regret.”

“You are right Mayme, it is indescribable. This is what I have been searching for also.”

“Thank you for coming across the dance floor to me. I will never venture into the desert again”

“Thank you for calling me back. I was so close to allowing my timidity to let me lose you. In fact I did allow it but had you not stopped me…..”

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Mayme interrupts him and states, “I didn’t call you back Eli. I simply picked up the hat that you dropped and yelled your name. When you came back to take your hat you looked so adorable in a sad puppy way I wanted to dance with you.” Suddenly, Mayme flips back over to face Eli and excitedly queries, “You know what Eli?!”

“What?” Eli responds in a voice showing his alarm.

“It was exactly the same as when the pencil fell!” She waits for Eli to be as excited as her.

“What was?” He still doesn’t understand what point she is trying to make.

The hat falling! It was an infinitesimal happenstance. Again! It happened twice for you…. no, for us. Had it not fallen, you would have gone back to your friends and that would have been the end of us. We are truly the result of fate’s intervention. It is phenomenal!” A moment lapses while they look into each other’s eyes and ponder the significance of her discovery. Still in a very excited voice she demands as she pushes his shoulder, “Roll over Eli. I want to spoon the other way!” Eli rolls over to face away from her. She presses up against his bare back and puts her left arm around him to repeat his actions from the other way. He can feel her try to press her feet against his soles but they don’t seem to fit as good this way, she can only get his heals with her toes.

“You must have a way with words to come up with infinitesimal happenstance.”

“I am proud of my vocabulary, Eli,” Mayme pauses for a moment then continues, “My phraseology could be sesquipedalian and although I believe this verbose discourse is felicitous, to others I would sound

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fastuous or even pedantic so I normally remain terse.” Mayme giggles proudly after finishing this sentence.

“Wow!” Eli exclaims with a laugh. “That did make you sound fastuous, whatever that word means. I have noticed that you are over my head with many of your words this evening.”

“I always got A’s in English,” Mayme boasts. “I got good grades in all my classes but English is my best subject. You may think this is crazy but I enjoy reading the dictionary in the evenings. I want to become a teacher so can I utilize that skill.” They both fall silent again. Eli again thinks to himself that it is still heaven even though they are now reversed. A tingle starts in Eli’s back at the point where her belly button is in contact with his spine at the waist. It spreads through his body and makes him shiver. She asks, “Are you cold Eli?”

“No. Your belly is giving me a tingly sensation that shoots throughout my body. It is strange but very enjoyable. I have never felt anything like it before. It has subsided a little but I like it.”

Amazing, Eli thinks, Eve’s Vibrations! There is another minute of contemplative silence while Eli recalls yet another memory of his father’s astute revelations. His father is saying, “A woman’s belly button is quite a magical spot. It is the vestige of her life receiving connection to her mother and her mother’s mother and so on until you get back to Eve. There is a living and direct physical cord that is connected at 15-30 year intervals that stretches with continual life back to the beginning of human life on this planet. You have that connection going back in time but it dies when you are born because you can’t pass that connection on. A woman passes it on to her daughters and then to her daughters. The shared connection from Eve goes on into perpetuity in the future. Only a woman can physically pass it on and

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that is where the magic comes from. When your mother presses up against me and her belly button lines up perfectly with the center of my back at my waist I can feel something mystical. As long as she is content she emanates Eve’s Vibrations. I hope you can make that connection someday.” Eli thinks to himself, Most of that talking by my father never made sense until today. I thought he was crazy with his ramblings. The tingling sensation has suddenly ceased.

Eli’s father disappears as Mayme shares, “I am worried about you Eli. What if something happens? I want you to go but it is very dangerous. I am apprehensive about it. I do not want to speak it but…,” she stops midsentence.

There is stillness for moment then Eli hears her whimper. He rolls back to face Mayme who now has tears flowing from her already reddened eyes. He stays a few inches away. “Hold my hands with palms together.” She brings her hands up and he takes her right into his right and left into left. “Come up against me.” Still crying, she wiggles her body up against his. Now Eli’s arms are crossed with the back of Mayme’s hands against his chest and the backs of his hands are against her chest. He lifts his head and touches his left cheek to her left cheek so his mouth is next to her ear. Now palm to palm, cheek to cheek, body to body they are pressed to each other. Speaking very slowly and softly he states, “Mayme Myrna Richards, I, Elijah Dillon Bailey, do hereby vow to be with you on your death. I also vow to accompany you on your ascent to heaven. You said you trust me so do you now believe I will come back to you?” He pulls his head back to look at her.

Still teary eyed but with a relieved and happy expression she exclaims excitedly, “Thank you Eli! I do believe you. Let me hold you again. I will not think any dark thoughts again.” She is all bubbly again

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as they resume the identical spooning position they had been in. She is so adorable. I understand why Eli finds her so desirable. Eli again feels the tingly sensation from her belly except more intense now. He tries to resist the temptation to shiver but can’t. “I love you, Eli,” she states with contentment in her voice.

Eli wished he had said it first but echoes, “I love you too, Mayme.”

“I can’t believe that is the first time we have said that. I have loved the idea of you my whole life.”

“Yes, we have loved each other our whole lives, Mayme. That is why we have searched so hard. Somehow we both knew we had to find each other to be complete.” A few silent moments pass then Eli asks, “Mayme?”

“Yes,” she replies.

“There is something I would like to do before I go, if you agree.”

“What is it, Eli?” she pries with eager anticipation.

“If we go back to the ballroom could you teach me how to dance?”

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