Anna’s parents came from Europe. Her father was a tall blond from Poland and her mother a red-haired beauty from Ireland. Yet poor Anna was stuck with the wrong branch of the DNA. She was six feet and then some in her socks. Her face was plain with a broad forehead, long jaw and beaked nose. Most of her height was in her legs. She wore men’s jeans with a 30 inch waist and 36 inch inseam. Her hair was neither blond nor red but a sad mixture resulting in a rough brown. Her height served her well in obtaining a volleyball scholarship to college where she majored in business.
But there was little demand in the sales and marketing field for a tall and unattractive woman; BS degree or not. She wound up working in the customer service department of the phone company. Her most redeeming quality was a melodious, deep voice which soothed angry and confused customers who called to complain about their bill. She was so good at her job that her supervisor would not promote her knowing that she could not replace her at that salary with anyone of her skill level. And so, by 1992 she was four years into her career with little to show for her work. She lived in a studio apartment in a fairly large building. What few contacts she had outside of work consisted mainly of girl friends and occasional arranged dates which rarely went past the first night out. She had a brief affair with a guy at work who was married and made all sorts of promises to her, none of which were kept.
Bill graduated with a degree in chemistry in 1962 and immediately went to work in a plastics plant. Upon his 30th anniversary with the company he was informed that he could take a buy-out or get laid off. His position as senior manager of a company being downsized in an attempt to compete with overseas suppliers did little to guarantee his job. So, at the age of 52, he took the buy-out. Divorced now for nearly 8 years from a woman who could not bear the thought of living with a man who could not give her a child, [a bad case of mumps at age 23 left him sterile], he sold the house and moved into a two room apartment in the same building as Anna, .
Bill rarely saw many of tenants of the building. Occasionally he rode in the elevator up to the sixth floor with Anna and some others, but most of the time he took the stairs in a vain attempt to maintain a semblance of a good frame.
And so it was on a cold and blustery Friday afternoon, he was pulling the mail from his box in the lobby when he noticed a couple of letters on the floor. He picked them up and saw Anna Czerwinski’s name and apartment number. He could have just shoved them in the outgoing mail slot and let the letter carrier sort it out but then he decided to do the nice thing and bring them to her door. He entered his own apartment and tossed the mail on the end table. He went into the kitchen and started his ritual of Friday spaghetti, based on a secret recipe his mother had given him years ago. With the sauce coming to a simmer, he picked up Anna’s mail and went out to her door. He knocked lightly several times and she opened her door just a crack, with the safety chain still attached.
“Hi, I’m Bill Wilson. I live in the corner apartment. I found a couple of your letters that you must have dropped on the floor of the lobby when you picked up your mail.”
He could see only a small portion of the long face that peeked out at him with a suspicious stare. He passed the letters through the crack. They were quickly snatched and the door slammed shut.
“Well, shit,” he thought. “So much for being a good neighbor.” Suddenly he heard the safety chain being snapped and the door opened. In a voice that reminded one of Lauren Bacall she said,
“Thanks for bringing up my mail. One of these is my yearly bonus check. I’d have been in deep trouble if I’d lost it. I didn’t mean to slam the door in your face. It’s just that I don’t know anyone in the building and I was a little surprised. I thought it was some sort of scam…….or something”
“Aw, that’s ok, as long as you got all your mail. That’s what’s really important. ”
Now he could see her face and most of her shoulders as she leaned out of the door.
True, she was not a beauty by any stretch of one’s imagination but there was a clean simplicity in her appearance that struck Bill. Although he was used to living alone,
the onset of another weekend by himself suddenly overwhelmed him and in an impulsive moment he blurted out,
“Look, I’m cooking up my famous spaghetti right now. I’ve made enough to feed a small army. If you haven’t already started your own supper, why don’t you come over and have some?”
“Oh, I don’t think so. I’m kinda busy right now but thank you anyway.”
“Well, I’ll tell you what, I’ll leave the front door open so if you change you mind, just come on in. You’ll be safe for sure. I’m old enough to be your father and if you’re at all like me, you don’t particularly like eating alone every night. So just come on down to the end of the hall. Dinner will be ready in about 20 minutes.”
He walked away from her and didn’t look back. He heard the door slam and thought that once again his instincts where wrong and he probably scared her off. He went back to his kitchen and finished preparing his meal. He set the table for two places, just in case she might change her mind. He poured a glass of Chianti and was about to fill his plate when he heard a soft knock.
“Bill?” said the low and sultry voice.” Am I too late?”
“No, no. Come on in. I was just about to serve up. Here, you sit there and I’ll get you a plate.”
At first there was little conversation other than a glowing compliment to the cook.
“This is the best I’ve ever had,” she exclaimed.
Bill went on to tell her how his Irish born mother was an accomplished cook in an Italian restaurant while he was growing up. Eventually they began to talk about their lives, sharing with each other the ugly side of being in the work force. As she relaxed in the presence of this fatherly figure, she began to pour out her frustration of doing the same job with apparently no path to a future. She frowned when Bill told her how he had been ushered out the door of a company he helped to build. He wasn’t sure what he was going to do but his interest in coins might prove to be something he could earn some income on. The discovery of 12 nearly mint twenty dollar gold pieces stashed in an old desk he bought at an estate sale brightened his finances as he began to sell them off. After cleaning up the kitchen he showed her some of his collections including a 1943 copper penny.
“It’s a fake. They made them out of aluminum in 1943, during the Second World War but there was always the rumor that a few were minted in copper. I keep it as just sort of a curiosity.”
As the evening wore on they found more and more in common. A howling wind began to come in off Lake Michigan. It whistled around the windows of the apartment and broke the flow of conversation. Anna said,
“I don’t know why but the wind howls loudest in my apartment or at least on my side of the building. It must be the way the building is situated to the lake but sometimes it’s so loud I can’t sleep. Well, I guess I’d better get back to my place”, she mumbled. “It’s getting late.”
“Ok, he said, but there is one thing you have to do before you leave. In my family it was always a custom that if you liked the food, you have to kiss the cook.”
She looked at him with a small smile on her lips.
“Oh sure, I’ll bet you say that to all the girls you bring here with your ‘famous’ spaghetti sauce.”
“Actually, you’re the only one I’ve shared it with since I moved in here and if you doubt my word about our family custom, I’ll give you my brother’s phone number and you can call him and find out for yourself.”
He turned his head away from her and puffed out his cheek.
“Come on, just a quick one, right here.”
Taller than Bill by at least 3 inches, she slightly tilted her head and pecked him on the cheek. They both had a good laugh.
“So, she chided him, you’ve not had anyone over here yet. You must like sleeping alone.”
Suddenly serious he said,
“Actually, sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. I’ve been alone for 8 years now since my divorce and at first, I relished the peace and quiet. But then there are times when sleeping alone is the pits. Do you like sleeping alone?”
The question caught her with her guard down. She felt at this point she could tell her new friend anything without fear of humiliation. What she hated most in men was their patronizing attitude that somehow their presence should be seen by her as a gift. Such was not the case with Bill and she said,
“I’ve never spent a night with someone in my bed. I was an only child and the few relationships I have had never included an overnight stay. But I agree that sometimes the loneliness gets to me when I try to go to sleep. It is especially bad when it’s a night like tonight when the wind howls outside. I’ve never liked that sound.
There was a short silence and then Bill threw caution to the wind.
“I’ve always liked the sound of the wind but for you I have a suggestion. The wind doesn’t sound so bad on this side of the building. That couch over there is the best I’ve ever slept on and believe me; I’ve spent many a night there. If you want you could sleep there tonight. You know you’re safe and it’s not really like sleeping with someone and yet not like sleeping alone. It’s somewhere in between.”
Anna was truly shocked at such a suggestion from a man she just met but she saw the sincerity in his face and quietly said,
“Oh no, that won’t be necessary. I’m quite comfortable in my place. Thank you for a lovely evening, Bill; I really had a good time. Good night now.”
She walked to the door and headed down the hall to her place.
Bill inwardly cursed himself for being so forward. Even so, he made up the couch with sheets, pillow and a blanket even though he knew she would probably not return. He crawled into his bed and was soon asleep. About an hour later he heard a soft knock on his door. A bit dazed with sleep he threw on a robe and opened the door. There she stood, all six foot three, in a long nightgown and ratty looking robe. Her hair was mussed up and she clutched a small pillow in one hand.
“Is that couch offer still good?”
Bill was flushed with a warm feeling that, once more, his instincts were correct. . He let her in and showed her the couch already made up. She smiled at him a little shyly and once again kissed him on the cheek.
“You are really a cool guy, Mr. Bill Wilson. It’s amazing how you seem to read my mind.”
As she crawled under the covers he pulled a chair next to the couch and, much as a father would to his child, proceeded to tell her a Russian fairy tale about Ivan and the Fire Bird. By the time Ivan had reached the second kingdom, she was sound asleep. He quietly tip-toed back to his room and crawled nude into his own bed. He began to talk to himself.
“Somewhere in between. That’s a good way of putting it.”
He was about to start a new life after 30 years of work and a failed marriage. She was stuck in between the security of a boring but well paying job and her desires to move on.
As he dozed off, the wind picked up in velocity and the howling became worse. This was a big nor’easter that was sure to bring a foot of snow. Tomorrow would be Saturday so she would not have to get up early. He could let her sleep as long as she wanted. Once again he drifted off to sleep.
Bill had always been a very light sleeper. The slightest noise or change in light would awaken him. He suddenly sat up in bed, not knowing what aroused him. He looked to his right and saw Anna standing in the doorway, silhouetted by the dim glow from the front windows. For a second he thought he might still be dreaming. Then the silhouette spoke:
“You may think that couch is a great place to sleep but I think it is more lumpy than you remember. I think I’ll go back to my place.”
“Sure, Anna, just let me get my robe.”
He grabbed it and put it on quickly. As he approached her he was suddenly overcome with a feeling of impending loss. He had just met the girl. She was a sweet person but just about the last he would have been attracted to, given her age and overall appearance.
Once again, relying on gut instinct, he said,
“Look, this bed is a king sized bed. There is enough room here for four people. I know this is sort of suggestive but……why don’t you just take right side, I’ll take the left. I promise you that there will not be any funny stuff going on. The wind is louder than ever and…….” He ran out of words and just stared at her.
Once more Anna was shocked that this sweet and gentle man would make such a proposal to a girl he just met. For a brief moment she did not feel like a gangly, unattractive girl. For just an instant, she was a woman to be desired, not as some dalliance but as a real person, an equal member of the human race, a genuine female.
It is impossible for anyone to crawl inside the head of someone like Anna and experience the years of suffering at the hands of uncaring and mean people who delight in making fun of others who are not as physically attractive as they. The years of rejection, loneliness and abuse can create a lasting imprint on one’s self evaluation. And so, as the shell of indifference she so carefully crafted over the years began to crack, Anna began to allow herself to be attracted to this older man. She hesitated a moment and said,
“Sure why not? The worst that can happen is that you’re an axe murderer and I’ll never wake up. Right now I’m so tired I don’t really care.”
She walked around to the other side of the bed and crawled under the covers for the third time that night. For a moment Bill was a bit nervous. He said,
“Uhm,…..I forgot to mention that….I …..er…..I sleep in the nude. I always have. If you want, I can put on some boxers and a T.”
“Don’t worry Bill. I won’t attack you. You’re safe with me!”
That brought out a belly laugh from both of them. He sat with his back to her, slipped off his robe and pulled the big down comforter over him.
“Good night Anna. I’m glad you decided to stay.”
“I’m glad too, Bill. Good night.”
Now, although she was tired, Anna’s brain went into overdrive. Here she was, sleeping with an attractive naked man. Her libido, long ago suppressed, began to become active.
No one knew of the vibrators she had been using since puberty. No one knew of the frustration she suffered seeing loving couples all through high school and college. Who but such a woman knows the feeling of opening your mailbox on Valentine’s day and finding just one card from your mom and dad and no one else? Day after day her biological clock ticked on with the hope of experiencing something other than a self-induced orgasm slipping further and further away. She rose on one elbow and looked at Bill, breathing heavily in deep sleep. She slowly slipped her hand over his chest. His chest hairs were so soft. Suddenly his eyes opened and he looked into her face. He did not move or speak. Something was connecting between them, something each of them had consciously forced to the back of their minds.
“Anna,….” He started to speak but that was all he managed to utter and she quickly covered his mouth with hers. As if on auto pilot, his arms reached around her huge frame and pulled her onto him. The frantic kissing continued unabated for some time. He gripped her head and held her in place while they tongue wrestled. Then, she broke it off and sat up. She crossed her arms and whipped the night gown off. She was instantly self-conscious of the fact that while her classmates in high school were developing the breasts and broad hips that precursored child bearing, Anna’s breasts hardly made an appearance. They were now evident but only in the slightest way. Once again she threw herself onto Bill’s chest. By now his erection was evident to both of them. With her left hand she reached down and took hold.
“Anna, are you sure that…..” was about all he could utter. He felt now that he was indeed being attacked by a ravenous woman.
“I lied, you’re not safe!” she said with a broad smile on her face.
“I feel like the luckiest prisoner in the world,” he muttered as he grabbed her broad shoulders and with surprising strength, threw her on her back.
Now he was the attacker. He continued to cover her face with kisses as he tweaked and pulled on her large nipples. Noisily, he sucked each one. Anna moaned in appreciation. In the past she had always been the one to do most of the work but now she was the object of her partner’s passion and she reveled in it. Bill slid down her long legs until his face was at her crotch. No panties, no thong, nothing. The long, bushy hair on her pubis excited him even more. He parted the forest with his hands and pressed his tongue to her slit. His own libido was now in full force as he attacked her clit, her outer lips. He then trailed kisses along the huge inner thighs of her legs. This really got to Anna. She cried out and raised her knees, offering him more room to maneuver. Even the spot between her cunt and her ass was now exposed and he thrust his tongue at it again and again. He returned to her clit and sucked it into his mouth. Then it happened, her first orgasm not self induced. Her huge legs suddenly grasped his head in a grip that he thought for a moment might crush his head like a walnut. Her keening continued for some time as her entire body trembled. Bill was motionless, trapped in this lovely vice of bone and flesh. His erection seeped into the sheets as he waited for his chance to crawl up on her and complete this sex act that both of them subconsciously craved.
As he moved up her long frame Bill pressed his cheek against hers and felt the dampness of fresh tears. She was crying.
“Anna, he whispered, are you……?”
“Do it, Bill. Come inside me now!”
He did not hesitate but fumbled with one hand, supporting himself with the other and pushed his erection into her. Those long legs immediately locked over his back as he began the rhythmic thrusting. Soon the slapping of their pelvises brought grunts and moans from both of them. Their differences in age and appearance now meant nothing to either one. All of their senses were concentrated on the act itself. Bill was coming closer to his climax. As for Anna, the thought of his ejaculating inside her never elicited any thoughts of caution. She, like Bill, was totally caught up in this primordial coupling common to every mammal since time began. His release came suddenly. He gripped her shoulders tightly and pressed his forehead into her chest. They lay still linked together and breathing heavily.
“My God, Anna, that was wonderful. It’s been so long since I’ve had such a strong…..”
His voiced trailed off as he disengaged and rolled over. She immediately turned to him and laid her head on his chest.
“I didn’t mean to start crying but I felt so good inside, I couldn’t help it. Thank you Bill for being such a good person, good cook and good lover. I hope you don’t think I’m some kind of slut or….”
He immediately turned and kissed her hard.
“No, Anna, you are beautiful to me. This has been a wonderful evening for me and I hope it is the start of many more.”
She smiled and closed her eyes. With her hair under his chin he softly rubbed her back as she continued to lie on top of him. Once again her hand wandered down his abdomen until she found his cock. Still damp from their fucking, she fondled it gently. Her long fingers cupped his balls. It began to rise once more as she stroked it. She made up her mind then and there that she would try once more to do something that in the past had repulsed her. She took his cock in her mouth, tasting the tangy mixture of their union.
Bill moaned in appreciation of the thrills that coursed through his frame. Anna took this as her cue and began to suck more of him into her mouth. On her knees now, she forcefully fellated him, using her hands to tease his scrotum and inner thighs. Bill hadn’t come twice in one night since his college days but now he felt the old tingle once again. After a few minutes of this, Bill spoke,
“Anna, I’m getting close again.”
Where in the past, she would have taken this as a sign to stop sucking and complete the act with her fist, she now continued her rapid pumping of his shaft, determined to give this gentle soul the one thing she had never given anyone else. His ejaculation came in a few weak spurts on her tongue. She gave his cock a few more kisses and then returned to his chest. Bill pulled Anna to his face and kissed her hard once more.
“Anna, you are the best ever,” he whispered.
The two strangers, now friends and lovers, lay together in the huge bed and as the wind and snow continued outside, they drifted off into a content and satiated sleep. This might have been the beginning of a long term love affair or maybe it was just one of those serendipitous moments in people’s lives that occur when they least expect them. Or maybe it was something in between.