Chapter 22: The First Time
Sandy is dressed in the clothes the concierge brought her. She has brushed her teeth and her hair. Her dizziness stopped after she drank water and orange juice. She sits with Dwayne eating her toast and fruit while he devours a huge breakfast. When Dwayne sits back unable to finish his huge breakfast, she finishes his bacon. She is nothing if not resilient, she tells Dwayne. She seals to Isadora on the phone. Juanita picked up Carmen and Isadora is getting ready for her lunch date alone with Frank. Isadora tells her mother about her phone call with Dwayne last night and how he sent Tom, Fred and Frank with movies and popcorn. He had made sure to tell her to call him if she needed anything and had checked on her by text this morning. He is so sweet.
Sandy watches Dwayne pack and thinks about a knight who not only rescues damsels in distress, but makes sure the children are cared for as well. Dwayne is wearing jeans with a hole in the knee and a plain white t-shirt. He has freshly shaved this morning. The old Laker’s cap is on his head. He is humming as he packs. Sandy asks what he is humming and Dwayne tells her he is trying to work out a melody for a song he wrote for her this morning.
Sandy remembers what she can from last night. She cannot remember what happened after she threw up outside the theater and before she got to the police station, but Dwayne told her about Sammy being arrested. She remembers vaguely Dwayne at the police station and helping her back to the hotel, but not all of it. There are remembered glimpses of Dwayne unzipping her dress, of helping her climb into the shower, of him telling her to raise her arms and sliding the nightgown over her nude body, of him cradling her between his legs while he combed out her wet hair. Then, she woke up in his arms this morning.
Dwayne is aware that Sandy doesn’t remember telling him she thought it was fate for them to fall in love. No problem! Dwayne remembers. While he held her in his arms this morning, he composed lyrics for a new song: “Your home is in my arms.” He is struggling with the bridge, but he will get there once he gets a guitar in his hands. Part of the reason he was so insistent that Sandy stay in what he now considers “her spot” in his arms this morning is so he could finalize the lyrics she inspired. He is glad to have regained the ability to write songs. He thinks how it returned when he met Sandy. He clearly needed a muse. He expects that Sandy will still be stubborn about how she feels this morning. He is trying to convince himself that he finds her stubbornness endearing. It doesn’t matter now that he knows her true feelings. If her drunken confession last night was not enough to convince him of her true feelings, the way she held onto him this morning and said no when he left the bed to answer the door for room service was. She loves me, he has thought to himself all morning, and has enjoyed a little that she doesn’t know he knows that fact. He is aware he sent her away yesterday at the rehearsal warning her he would break her heart. He, also, remembers how he felt when he ended the concert last night. He is through resisting. It seems as if she might be right. There might be a little bit of fate at work here. As he packs he has been waiting for Sandy to begin the conversation. When she does, he stops packing and pulls up a chair next to her and looks at her fully in the face.
Sandy: I’m not completely sure how I got here or undressed or clean. (She is shy.)
Dwayne: I carried you the last few feet, through the lobby, up the elevator into my room.
Dwayne: Darlin’, I had to get you clean. I undressed you, put you in the shower, washed your hair, put your nightgown on, and combed your hair. I’m sorry. I know it…Well, it is what it is. I am the knight whose job it is to rescue you and in this case it meant violating your privacy. I’m sorry.
Sandy: Did we?
Dwayne: Woman, I am your knight, your prince and your cowboy. None of the three of us would ever take advantage of a woman in the condition you were in last night. The man in me, though, I’m only human. I peeked at you a little more than I should have. (She is ashamed and embarrassed. Dwayne thinks his talking about looking at her body will get that stubbornness back and she will forget to be embarrassed.)
Sandy: It’s just this morning we were so…entwined. (Sandy is embarrassed, but has not stopped thinking about how it felt to be in his arms.)
Dwayne: I laid down beside you to sleep. I swear you moved over to me, snuggled up and you just felt so good. It felt like you belonged. It’s why I wrote a song about you being in my arms. I’m weak, I guess. I couldn’t not hold you. I’m sorry.
Sandy: No, don’t apologize. I can’t believe how kind you’ve been to me when I’ve been so much trouble. It was nice to wake up with you this morning.
Dwayne: (wondering where all the stubbornness has gone, he thinks he will tease her a little) I’m glad I could be there for you, Princess. At least I make a good teddy bear to snuggle up next to even if you still think I’m not fuckable.
Sandy: No, it’s not that, but the first time we (instead of that word she will use the word that describes how she feels) make love I want to remember every detail.
Sandy looks at Dwayne with the expectation of a kiss. Has the knight won his fair maiden’s hand? He thinks about how much he tried not to look at her body as he was helping her. He thinks about how much he yearns to look openly and long at her body. There is still time before the hotel check out to take this woman back to bed. He leans in for a kiss. His eyes are closed. Right before he touches her lips, he feels her finger on his lips and hears her voice saying wait. Wait?! Doesn’t this woman realize the torture he has been in? He opens his eyes without moving his face away. “Why am I waiting?” He sees her lips and hears her voice say, “I haven’t been completely honest with you.” He sits back and looks at her. Sandy explains that she hasn’t lied to him, she just hasn’t told him everything. He tells her to spill it. What does she need to tell him? Sandy doesn’t know how to explain. How should she tell this man? How can she explain about her dreams? Instead she tells him she needs to play him a song. Could she use his dulcimer?
She wants to play me a song? Dwayne has never wanted a woman more. His mind plays back through toweling her off from the shower and holding her in his arms. She wants me, he thinks. I know she does. She has given him every indication in her face, her eyes, and her tone that she wanted him to take her to bed. Now, instead, she wants to play him a song?! Sure, he says, he will call down and have them bring up a dulcimer. After he calls down, he resumes packing. Sandy reads his body language. She knows he is frustrated, but she needs to be completely honest with him. No secrets, she thinks, before their first time.
An intern brings up the dulcimer. Dwayne thanks him and he hands it to Sandy. He resumes his packing.
Sandy: You have to listen.
Dwayne: I can listen while I pack.
Sandy: You have repacked that same bag four times.
Dwayne throws the last two shirts he had taken out and rolled tightly into the bag, zips the bag up and tosses it by the door. He sits down again in front of Sandy. His whole body continues to be tense with the anticipation of how much he had wanted to make love to her. Sandy reaches out to touch his hand and he pulls it away.
Dwayne: Is this another song you want me to sing?
Sandy: It belongs to you. It’s up to you. Dwayne, I have only written two songs and three poems. I only have one song and one poem you haven’t heard. What I haven’t told you is that I don’t think I actually wrote them. I think you did. Somehow in my sleep, you gave them to me. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s about fate and love. (Looking down at the last word)
Dwayne: It’s impossible for me to give you songs and poems in your sleep.
Sandy: I have been having dreams where the songs are written on a blue screen. (Dwayne’s face changes when she mentions dreams and blue). Some man has been sending me these songs and poems. The only way for me to know if it you is to let you hear the last two and see if they have any meaning to you.
Dwayne simply nods. What is the likelihood of both of them having so much blue in their dreams? Sandy plays and sings “Blue”. It doesn’t take more than two verses for Dwayne to recognize the story she is telling. He stands up and turns away from her when she speaks of his and Dani’s wedding night. How dare she? Something so personal and private. His fist clinches when she sings about Dani’s bruise on her hand. He moves near to the wall next to the bed. He feels like he wants to hide. This is too much. He thought Sandy was falling in love with him and instead? Has she talked to Dani? Did Alex tell her about his dreams of blue? Fame, he thinks. This is the problem with fame. “You’re some type of sick psycho. You’ve researched me; studied me, talked to my ex. This is a game to you.” Dwayne punches his hand through the wall. He pulls his hand out. It has been a decade or so since he has done something like this. There are cuts across the knuckles, but it is not bleeding. He bends the fingers. Nothing broken. In an hour or two, he knows from experience, the bruising and swelling will start. He realizes he won’t be playing the guitar tonight. Damn. He looks at Sandy. “I want you to get the fuck out of here.”
Sandy has never known a man to hit a wall before. Her father never did and neither did Isadora’s father. She trembles and is afraid, but more afraid for Dwayne than herself. He is so upset. Clearly the songs came from him. That’s a fact that is no longer deniable. She needs to see this through.
Sandy: Absolutely. I will leave after you hear the last poem.
Dwayne: (What else could she possibly have in a poem to hurt him? He doesn’t want to know.) Is tearing my heart out and bouncing it off the wall not enough? Do you want to have it on the ground where you can stomp on it a while as well?
Sandy: My last poem, Dwayne, and you can send me away forever, but at least all we need to be said will have been said.
As she begins to recite “I dreamt you” Dwayne is standing with his back to Sandy. His hands are flat against the wall on either side of the hole he made with his fist. She says: “I have seen you in blue.” Dwayne turns to her. This is a poem about the dreams he had been having, but how could anyone know this many details about his dreams. Even Alex didn’t know these details. Sandy says, “I have seen you dancing”. Dwayne remembers Sandy telling him she had been a dancer. He remembers the first time he met her when he thought for a while that Sandy was the woman in his dreams. Even Alex told him yesterday that Sandy is the one he had been dreaming about. Is that really possible? He realizes he has thought this the whole time, but hasn’t allowed himself to really consider what it means. How can it be possible? I have dreamt of her in blue. She has read my lyrics and poems on a blue screen. She isn’t playing a game. It is meant somehow for us to be together. It is our fate to fall in love. He sinks down on the bed. Sandy finishes the poem. She can tell by Dwayne’s body language that he is processing the fact that somehow they have been in each other’s dreams. She comes to the bed and drops down on her knees in front of Dwayne. She puts her hands on Dwayne’s legs and looks up into his face.
Dwayne: I have had dreams. The world of the dreams were all blue. The only two people in my dreams were you and me, but I couldn’t really see you clearly and we never met- except twice I walked up in back of you and held you tight.
Sandy: And you couldn’t write?
Dwayne: No, I couldn’t put any words together. It was driving me crazy.
Sandy: You were writing in your dreams and sending the songs and poems to me. I’m not a poet or a songwriter, but these were gifts you sent to me. Didn’t you say you had been thinking about the themes in “Bliss”? How about “The Uncommonly Handsome Common Man”? Isn’t it you who dreads the disgust in a woman’s eyes. (Sandy remembers the party the day before). I’m so sorry about yesterday. I never wanted you to see that look in my eyes. It’s the reason I drank so much. I knew exactly how much it hurt you to see the pain in my eyes.”
Dwayne thinks about four times in one day. Yesterday, on his fiftieth birthday, he kept saying goodbye to her and somehow they kept coming back together. All these dreams! In the last few weeks, he had wanted to meet the woman in his dreams. He thinks about holding Sandy in his arms this morning. Is it really fate? Has he, in fact, met a woman he was destined to love? What other explanation can there be? What other explanation when they are, in fact, already in love?
Sandy looks up at Dwayne. Her look of concern and of anguish has changed to simple love. He pulls her up next to him on the bed. He leans forward and kisses her fully on the mouth. He pulls his mouth away and grabs her shirt at the bottom. “Raise your hands,” he commands in a husky voice. She does and he lifts the t shirt over her head. He tosses the shirt to the floor. He reaches both arms around her and unsnaps her bra. Her breasts bound forward. He takes a moment just to stare at them. There is no thought in his mind of comparing them to any other woman’s. He throws the bra to the floor. He takes his fingers of either hand and softly rubs her breasts under her nipples. Her nipples harden. He leans down to kiss her breasts, but stops. His mouth goes instead to Sandy’s lips. He gives her quick kisses on the mouth as he positions her on the bed. He rolls to her side and reaches into her pants without unzipping them. He wants to just touch her clit. She breathes in deeply at his first touch and he quickly moves his hand to her stomach. Sandy searches his face. She notices his Adam’s apple as he swallows. She knows he is aware of how much this moment means. He is a little unsure of how to begin. She whispers, “Come here.” He moves back on top of her. She reaches down to unzip his pants. He raises his hips to let her slide his pants down. She grabs his ass and then moves her hands to unzip and pull down her own pants. Dwayne looks into her eyes. He thinks, “I am about to have a first time with a soulmate.” He knows it is a first time he will never forget.