Chapter 14: Coming Clean
My goal with the community garden is twofold. First, I want to provide a wholesome nurturing environment within which I can get to know the people who live nearby. I can’t meet the needs of anyone unless I know what their needs are. The garden serves as a low stress mechanism through which we can bond. I hide nothing about my faith from my new acquaintances. It’s so easy to be honest and open about my relationship with Jesus. Sharing with them as we work in the garden comes as easily for me as does breathing.
Second, I want to give the city kids a taste of what it’s like to work with their hands and experience the miracle of producing food from a mere seed or a tiny plant. Additionally, there’s the benefit of giving the kids something constructive to do with their time and energy. Hopefully, the garden can encourage the little ones to positive futures which steer clear of the nearly ever present, seemingly irresistible pull of the violence that’s found within the city.
The kids come and go as schedules and parents permit, but they love it and so do I.
Today, I get to spend time with Kanika and Tyreke. They bring two of their neighboring friends with them and even their mom feels well enough that she joins us for a short time. That is such great news. I hope my prayers on their behalf and three additional grocery deliveries, not to mention the encouragement I offered, helped to speed her recovery.
Today, about two weeks after my discovery of Jackson’s deception, I get home at about six in the evening. It’s been a long day, so, I’m grimy and need a shower in the worst possible way.
I walk over to the nightstand and unload my phone, keys and various other things from my pockets. I turn around, headed toward the shower, only to find Jackson standing behind me. I jump backwards and nearly lose my balance. Jackson steps forward, with the intention of steadying me, but I pull away. “Jackson! Why’d you sneak up on me like that? You scared me nearly to death!”
Jackson backs up one step as he realizes that I don’t want him to touch me. “I’m sorry, Ellie. I didn’t mean to scare you. I only want to be near you, Ellie,” he pauses for an instant. “I want us to talk.”
Jackson looks as haggard as I feel. I’m much scruffier, of course, because he hasn’t spent his day in the hot sun and dirt, but he’s not shaved for days and it really affects his appearance.
“Don’t you think,” I begin, “in the interest of full disclosure, that we should have been talking about several things long before now?”
Jackson nods his head and shrugs his large shoulders. He looks so defeated. “Yeah, I do. I’ve handled all of this very badly. Hurting you was the last thing I wanted. You have to believe how sorry I am.”
I shake my head in disbelief. “Believe you? Are you kidding me?” I ask. Every ounce of frustration and anger I possess are present in my tone and demeanor. “Jackson, from here on out, everything that comes out of your mouth is suspect. To my knowledge,” I ask for clarification, “we don’t have a problem with the things you do tell me, do we?”
Here come the tears. At times, I just hate myself. My body seems to let me down when I most need it. I need to show strength and resolve to Jackson, but no, I turn into a simpering wimp. I know why and I hate myself even more. I love Jackson and I miss him so much it only adds depth to the pain he’s already caused. The deepest wounds always come from the ones we care about most.
Jackson comes to me and touches my arm. I step back out of his reach. I look into his eyes and I see sincere remorse there. Despite myself, I do believe that he’s truly sorry. But I’m mad and I’m hurting, and I want him to pay, so my answer falls into the smart-ass category.
“Jackson, are you sorry you hid your other life from me or are you sorry you got caught when I recognized you on the roof that day?” Despite my rage and unwillingness to forgive, it’s a legitimate question and it deserves to be answered.
“Please try to see things from my perspective, Ellie. I know I was wrong to keep it from you, but you have to believe me, Ellie, when I tell you that I believed I had the most noble of reasons for doing so.” Jackson runs his hands through his hair and reluctantly admits, “You helped me understand, though, that I was being selfish.
“Also, I’m sorry that you found out the way you did. I should have told you myself. You should never have been blindsided like that. It never occurred to me that you’d identify me simply by the way I pulled you up against me. It’s remarkable that you recognized the fit of our bodies the way you did.”
“Jackson,” I say matter-of-factly, “the fit of our bodies is something most people dream about. I’d have to be brain-dead not to recognize it.”
Jackson starts toward me again. I stand my ground, but only by fighting the urge to run or slap him senseless.
“About the fit of our bodies,” Jackson continues, “Ellie, it’s been two weeks. I’m hurting so badly I’m about to burst.”
I ignore the plea in his gaze, as well as, his words as I disregard his request. “You’re a grown man, Jackson. You’re more than capable of meeting your own needs.”
The plea continues with sincere anguish present in his gaze. “I know, Ellie, but I want you. I miss you so much I’m dying inside.”
In this instant, anger eclipses my empathy and compassion. I’m ashamed to admit it, but right now there’s no grace for Jackson to be found within me. “I’m getting in the shower, Jackson. I’m so grimy I can’t stand myself.”
I give him a wide berth as I walk around him. I’m so angry. I feel so betrayed that he didn’t trust me with this part of himself, especially after all the pretty words he uttered to me in the maze that night. All the things he said about giving me all of himself were just a line. Yeah, he’ll give me everything of what he decides to share with me. It’s not the same thing!
When I get to the bathroom door I turn and say to him, “Marriages don’t survive secrets, Jackson. Secrets destroy everything in their path,” I tell him as I close the bathroom door. I turn on the shower and let the water come to temperature while I peel off my filthy clothes. My mind works out and over the events of the last two weeks. Learning of Jackson’s double life has hit me like a bus. I can’t quit dwelling on my pain and disappointment. In moments of complete honesty with myself I have to admit it’s because I don’t want to.
Five minutes later my hair is lathered and I’m standing with my back to the water. I let the heat, wetness and the pulsing motion of the shower do its work on the knots in my back and neck.
Without warning, a large hand cups each of my breasts. I jump and attempt to turn around, but I’m forced to stay put.
“It’s okay, Ellie. It’s only me,” Jackson whispers into my ear. His beard tickles the auricle of my ear as he speaks to me. It’s a new sensation. I hate myself for it, but I’m powerless to prevent the tingling response of my flesh to the presence of Jackson’s hands. Goose flesh covers me from head to toe underneath the shampoo saturated water that intermittently cascades down my body.
Why didn’t I lock the stupid door? I was so preoccupied with my thoughts I never heard Jackson enter the bathroom, much less the shower. Now, Jackson holds me in place and refuses to let me face him. He kisses the lobe of my right ear and leans forward until his arms are wrapped around my breasts. With his bulging biceps under my arms he picks me up and sits me astride his throbbing arousal. He’s not inside me. He’s only got me positioned so that I can feel the top of his shaft against my crotch. His movement, warmth and size make me moan in agonizing anticipation. My traitorous body quickly readies itself for the main event.
“Ellie, I’ve missed you. I’ve tried so hard to be patient, sweetheart. I tried to give you space so you can process the abduction and your discovery about me. You’ve had a lot thrown at you, Ellie, I get that, but I’m about to lose my mind for wanting you. I can’t be patient anymore. I need you like I need breath. I’m suffocating without you.”
I know exactly what he means. Going from a 200-mph sex life to zero for two weeks has been far more difficult than I’d have thought possible.
Tap, tap, comes the urgent plea of Jackson’s shaft against my swollen labia. I moan again and wriggle against Jackson’s chest longing for a more intimate contact.
“Dear God, Ellie!” Jackson mutters through clenched teeth. “I can’t wait much longer.” I’d have already taken hold of Jackson’s shaft, but he’s shanghaied my arms with his biceps. I simply can’t reach him from here. Again, I’m completely at his mercy.
Who am I kidding? I love it when I’m at his mercy. Being completely vulnerable to him, waiting to see what he’ll do next is one of the finest joys of my new life. I’m tired of doing without it.
Jackson stands me on the floor of the shower and returns his large warm hands to my breasts. He finds my nipples between his thumbs and fore fingers. He moans as he nudges the back of my head with his forehead.
He whispers into my ear, “This is one of two favorite places to keep my hands, Ellie. Can you imagine the location of my other favorite place?”
In mere seconds I’m a writhing, needy mass of femininity. Jackson turns me to face him and covers my mouth with his own. Each devastating kiss pulls need from my core and makes the heat between us rise rapidly. As if his kisses aren’t enough, his hands continue their attention at my breasts. Knead and pull my nipples. Knead and pull my need.
Jackson’s voice is hoarse in my ear. Palpable is the agony he subjects himself to as he seduces me. “Open your legs, sweetheart. Let me have you.”
I’ve never heard him so desperate for my obedience. I want to cooperate, but there’s a disconnect between my brain and my body. I completely understand why.
“Let me have you, Ellie,” Jackson tells me again. His voice is huskier, hungrier than even an instant ago. My mind is reeling. He’s using your body against you, Ellie. My brain is so aware of it, but my body doesn’t care. All my body knows is that it has a pervasive need that only one thing will fill.
My body wins. Slowly, I open my legs before Jackson. “That’s my girl,” he whispers into my ear. His fingers find my opening and forge my wetness. I gasp and moan in quick succession. I fall harder against his glistening chest.
Jackson holds me tightly against his torso as his hand tends to my center. In and out. In and out. Over and over again. “That’s it, sweetheart. Let me take care of you.”
I need someone to take care of me. It’s obvious I can’t take care of myself.
Jackson comes forward to my clit and cinches the deal. My abdomen convulses, leaving me a twitching mess against his frame. He rubs harder and my face slides down his abs as my body doubles over against his efforts.
Suddenly, the pressure on my clit ceases as though Jackson wants me to think with my brain instead of my body. He asks into my ear, “Can I have you, Ellie?”
“Yes, Jackson, you can have my body. I need this is badly as you do,” I agree weakly.
Jackson backs me into the shower wall and pins me against it. He picks me up by reaching inside my legs and lifting me by my thighs. He holds me in place by leaning into me with his torso. He makes me burn hotter by lavishing tender, then demanding, attention on each breast. Every time is different, but today, it’s the suckling that sends me skyward. Discovering that my breasts have a need all their own, only because it’s been so long, is new and exciting.
Quietly, I hear Jackson at my ear. “I heard what you said, Ellie. I know what you meant. Having your body isn’t enough. I want all of you, Ellie. I have to have your heart, too,” he commands in a voice that drips with virility. His male ego expects me to cave and give him what he wants.
Surprisingly, I manage to express a cohesive thought in a strong voice. “You had my heart, Jackson, and you threw it away like it didn’t matter.”
I put my arms around his neck and sob into his shoulder. “I gave… you everything of myself, not because you demanded it, but… because I wanted…to. In return you gave me only part of yourself and…lied to me about it. I can’t… live in a marriage ….”
“Oh Ellie, I’m so sorry. I know I’m the reason for your pain and it kills me.”
My sobs cease long enough for me to speak again. “How do I give my heart to someone I can’t trust, someone who’s betrayed me? Take my body, Jackson. You need to end this agony, for both of us, but leave my heart alone.”
“Forgive me, Ellie,” comes his broken request. He nuzzles his forehead into my breasts covering my nipples in tender butterfly kisses. “Forgive me. Forgive me. I’ll spend the rest of my life making this up to you, I promise.”
“Sate me! Jackson!” I demand. I’m so weary of all this.
Jackson forges my wetness again and comes to my clit. The demand of my body sends me erect against the shower wall. Jackson latches onto my breast, flicking my nipple with his tongue and suckling mercilessly. I scream through clenched teeth and push at his wrist with my hands, attempting to stop his attention.
“Jackson! Leave me be!” I demand of him.
“Forgive me, Ellie. I’ve apologized over and over. The only thing I can do is better for you. Let me be better for you.” His fingers enter me again, thrusting in and out. My ache for him is a sentient being at this point. It’s beating in place of my heart and dictating responses in place of my brain.
In and out. In and out, forward to my clit. Back and forth Jackson goes while he whispers into my ear, “Forgive me, Ellie. I have to have all of you. Forgive me so I can satisfy you.” Jackson holds my need for him hostage until I cooperate and give him what he wants. I try to hold out, but his siege continues. In and out. In and out, forward to my clit. I groan and writhe against the shower wall. In and out. In and out, forward to my clit.
This time, though, he stays with my clit, rubbing with agonizing exactness. His words come to my ear again, as my body twitches harder still. “Forgive me, Ellie. Forgive me so I can fill you up, all nice and tight. You’ll have something to bear down on then. You love to bear down against me, don’t you, Ellie?”
Jackson’s sexy, virile tone speaks to my body the same way his hands, his lips and his shaft do. His words pull every cell in my body into a state of longing. His words of tenderness and description magnify every ache, every touch, every tingle. Add these to the time we’ve spent apart and I’m nearly out of my mind with need.
“Bear down, Ellie. Don’t you want to bear down?” In and out. In and out, forward to my clit.
He doesn’t spend enough time on either part of my anatomy to make me climax and it wouldn’t matter if he did. The only thing that will ever satisfy me is to have him plunging deep inside me, reaching places in my need that his fingers can never find.
I push hard against the shower wall longing to throw my head back, but there’s nowhere for it to go. In and out. In and out, forward to my clit. Somewhere in my foggy brain I understand this agony will continue until I comply with his demand.
In and out. In and out, forward to my clit. “Oh, dear God, Jackson! I forgive you!” I’m sobbing now. He’s broken my determination to keep a part of myself from him. He’s broken my spirit and my resolve.
“It’s going to be okay, Ellie. I’ve got you. I won’t leave you hurting, sweetheart. I promise.” For some reason, now that I’ve agreed to do as he asks, the torment stops. I can’t think clearly enough to ascertain a valid reason. I do realize, though, that Jackson, while holding me midair with one arm, reaches for a bottle of shampoo.
“Lean forward for me Ellie.” When I do as I’m told he squeezes shampoo on my back and spreads it evenly so that my back is coated. He sets me up against the wall and I immediately realize how much more comfortable I am with a layer of lubrication between my skin and the shower wall.
Jackson toys with my clit again simply because he wants to and because he can. As he expects, I convulse and cry out.
“It’s okay, sweetheart. I’m coming for you.”
With his torso and one arm Jackson holds me in place while he aligns his arousal with my core opening. Carefully he slides his shaft into my body. His enormous size and warmth incite me to audibly express my pleasure. The most satisfied moan of my life escapes me. I roll my head from side to side, moaning over and over, longing for deeper contact. I can never have too much of him.
“See, sweetheart. I’ve got you,” Jackson says soothingly. I close my eyes as tears stream down my face. My body twitches and convulses involuntarily. He’s going to sate me, but at the cost of my personal dignity. My brain says the price is too high, but my body thinks it’s a bargain.
Jackson begins to thrust and my body slides effortlessly up and down the shower wall. His efforts with my body pull me from my self-recrimination. The damage is done so I might as well enjoy this. As best I can, I grab my legs, a hand behind each knee, and pull my knees sideways and up as much as possible. Jackson braces himself against the shower wall as my entire weight now rests on nothing, but our union and the pressure of his torso pressed against mine. Because my legs are pulled up and out, they’re no longer in his way. My groin is now pushed forward towards Jackson. It’s the best “bearing down” motion I can accomplish, given my position. It’s sufficient, though. Jackson’s shaft reaches every increment of my sexual center, over and over. My body delights in his size, warmth and stamina.
I can feel him watching me, but I refuse to open my eyes. I decide to keep them shut and focus on what he’s doing to my insides. Soon, Jackson feels my center tightening around him, so he knows my come is imminent. “Deeper, Jackson, faster!” I cry. I can’t get enough of him.
Jackson picks up the pace and power of his thrusts and we climax together. “Oh, my God, Ellie, I love you so much!” he moans as his seed fills my core.
Jackson moves me high enough on the wall that I know he has to be standing on his toes. The hilt of his penis attacks my pelvic bone repeatedly, assuring me that I have received the maximum amount of him within myself. Neither of us could have given more.
There’s no denying it: regardless of what isn’t working for us, this primal connection we share always works. At one instant the effect he has on me is the ecstasy of my life. In another instant, his effect is the bane of my existence. How can the two exist in the same heart, in the same heart beat? I go limp against his chest. I don’t care what happens next.
Jackson continues to hold me airborne until my twitching convulsions fade away. Finally, my body quiets itself. The agonizing need is sated, and I breathe normally again. Jackson covers my face and breasts with a thousand little kisses and tells me over and over how much he loves me. I begin to weep. As much as my body and brain have missed the virile, take charge, Jackson, my heart and soul have missed the tender, loving, Jackson even more.
Slowly, Jackson lowers me to the floor and makes sure I’m steady on my feet. He rinses the shampoo from my hair and washes my entire body, paying particular attention to my breasts and labia simply because he enjoys them so much.
He rinses me off and wraps me in a big fluffy towel. He wraps my hair in a separate towel of the same color. He quickly dries himself, picks me up and carries me to the bed. He lays me down on the ridiculously comfortable mattress and slides in next to me. He pulls the covers up over us and wraps me in his big strong arms. I forgo dinner for rest and in a matter of minutes, sleep claims me.