"Mom, my ride's here, I'm going!" Grace called through the front door
and then made her way down the front stoop and across the front lawn.
Lily was just making her way into the living room when the screen door gently
closed. She wanted to encourage her daughter to have fun, but reached
the door too late and would have ended up screaming like a lunatic.
Instead, Lily watched Grace walk around the car that her friend drove
and reflected on how much the nearly 15-year old girl had grown this
last year. She had matured and came to accept the changes that were happening
in her life, and even embraced them as opportunities to learn about the
world around her. When Grace's grandfather died, Lily thought, she could
have wound herself inside a cocoon. Rather, she blossomed into a
butterfly experiencing life and all it has to offer.
As Grace entered the car that was waiting for her on the street, Rick
pulled his SUV into the driveway and gave a quick wave to his
girlfriend's daughter. He hopped out of the vehicle and turned his attention to Lily
who noticed he was wearing that rich purple tank top that showed off
just enough of his physique to send her heart aflutter. She decided not to
tease him about the ozone layer today.
Rick looked back at the car that was pulling away and asked, "Was that
"Yes, they're headed out to that big end of summer bash that Grace has
been talking about for the last two months," Lily replied. She waited as
patiently as she could for Rick to slowly stride up the front walk. Not
able to contain herself any longer, she leapt down the walkway and into
Rick's arms. They embraced and kissed passionately for a few moments,
then held hands as they reentered the house together.
"Funny, Eli went with Jennifer to that party last year," Rick mused
out loud. He looked around the house as he entered, still not entirely
comfortable in the home that was still owned by Lily's soon-to-be
"Is Eli going this year?" Lily asked.
"Oh, yeah, his band, Anti-Inflammatory, is playing there. They need
the exposure, he says. I just think he just wants to impress the girls."
They stood in the center of the living room for a moment. Suddenly,
Lily popped, "Hey, let's wash that car of yours. I need to cool off."
"Where's Zoe?" Rick asked.
"She is with her father," Lily noticed Rick wince, so slightly, "She
felt that she needed to do something special if Grace got to go to a big
summer bash. So her and Jake are going for a movie and dinner," she
explained. "With Tiffany!" Lily threw her hands up pretending to be
excited. "What about Jessie?"
"Sort of the same thing, except they are calling it girls day." Rick
replied, seeming satisfied with how the day was playing itself out.
Lily and Rick spent the next half-hour sudsing up the car, playfully
spraying each other with the hose, and making a general din in the
neighborhood. Once they had finished rinsing out the buckets and coiling
up the hose, they went back in the house through the kitchen entrance.
"Want anything to eat?" asked Lily, "I could cut up some fruit for
us." She opened the refrigerator door and bent down to rummage through
the crispers for something refreshing. Rick noticed, and not for the first
time, the shapely curve of her behind. He was lost in thought as she
stood up and turned around.
"Richard Sammler, were you checking me out?" she asked in mock
"Uh, no," he stammered, his mouth fluttering, "uh, well, yes, I was."
He stood up straight, with feigned pride in his voice. Again, he looked
at her and this time he noticed that her wet tee shirt and the cold of the
refrigerator produced an effect on Lily that caused his thoughts to
Lily did not notice his staring and asked, "Strawberry?" placing a
bowl on the table. This brought Rick out of his reverie and he dreamily
picked up a strawberry and began to move it towards his mouth. Lily
gently took his hand and guided the fruit to her mouth. She wrapped her lips
around Rick's fingers she placed the strawberry on her tongue. Rick
finally withdrew his fingers from her. She stared at him and began to
chew, feeling the many seeds crunch on her teeth, the meaty part of the
fruit softening in her mouth. Lily took another strawberry from the bowl
and pushed it into Rick's only partially open mouth. He chewed in small
bites as he placed her hands around his waist and pulled her toward him.
They hugged for a minute, but for each other, it felt like an eternity
Lily separated herself from Rick, just far enough so she could look at
him. They held each other's hands and stared, facing each other. Lily
took a deep breath.
"Let's take a shower," she stated, her voice trying its best to stay
even but not really succeeding. Rick looked back at Lily. He thought
about the trust that she was showing in him, a level of trust, that up
until this point, he would not have been sure he could have returned.
They had been through so much this last year. After they discovered
each other, it was as though nothing else in the world existed for him.
And then she told him of her terrible mistake. At least, it felt that
way at the time. Did she really love him? Were they the soulmates that he
felt deep down inside? There was a long, horrible hiatus in their
relationship, during the holidays, just at the time of the year when
they should have been celebrating their life and their love together.
Finally, Rick came to realize that Lily was in a different place in her life, and
that if they were truly going to be together, he needed to wait for her
to catch up to him. If he continued to rush their relationship, he would
drive her away.
Now, here they were, almost a year to the day since they first eyed
each other across the carpool lane. He was with her in her house. She
was asking him to share a most intimate act with her.
Lily stared at Rick, trying to see through his eyes and into his soul.
God how she loved him. They had so much more to learn about each other,
so many more ways to share themselves with each other, thoughts and
feelings to be expressed. Was she ready for this? Was she really ready?
"Yes, let's," Rick responded. His words broke a golden silence that
had enveloped them and held them even closer.
Upstairs, Lily and Rick had never been so clean. They cleansed their
hair, the little spaces behind their ears, their necks, arms, back,
their chests, oh their chests, their bellies, hips, backsides and genitals,
legs, knees and finally the toes of their feet were clean and fresh. They
stayed so long in the shower that the warm water that flowed on them turned a
wonderful shade of cool. They were refreshed and energized.
Rick wrapped a towel around his waist and Lily threw a tee shirt over
her head. They held hands as she led him into her bedroom. Here, Rick
hesitated again. All his insecurities came flooding back to him in a
flash. This was the room she and 'he' had shared. Lily looked at him and
smiled that deep radiant smile that Rick just knew helped to make all
the bad things go away for her girls. It was that smile that warmed him and
allowed him to feel confident with her. Just as quickly, the
insecurities were gone
They stood next to her bed, facing each other holding hands. Rick was
staring at her again. He just could not help himself, he felt safe
looking at her. Quickly, and with a sly grin on her face, Lily snapped Rick's
towel off of him. He grinned sheepishly and held his hands out to his
sides, presenting himself to Lily. Without taking her eyes off of him,
Lily pulled her tee shirt off.
Just two steps away, they regarded each other. They looked at each
other's forty-something year old bodies, each with wet stringy hair and
little flaws revealing themselves. This was the very best moment for
both of them. At once, they stepped toward each other and embraced. Lily
began to shake slightly. Her joy was overwhelming, frightening her. She
breathed deeply and smelled Rick, felt his strength, his love, and his
safeness. He held her tighter and she relaxed. He never wanted to let
her go. She turned her head up to his and smiled. He smiled back and they
kissed passionately, their hands began to explore.
They were still standing next to the bed. Gently grabbing Rick's
buttocks in both hands, Lily sat on the bed encouraging Rick to join
He did so. Now, only now, did Lily truly feel safe. And only now did
Rick feel free. They made the most of the moment.
September 12, 2000
Copyright 2000 Charles Benson
E-Mail the author
Based on characters created by Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz