He was a really nice man and I liked him a lot but I found him to be too reserved for my taste. My best friend, Shakira teased me and told me that he had a crush on me but I dismissed it, telling her not be ridiculous. I reminded her that he was a professor and I was a student. Anything beyond an academic relationship between us would get us both in trouble with the university.
“Are you busy this weekend, Gracen,” he asked me now. It was the end of the period and we were the only two people in the classroom. He was standing in front of the desk with a slight smile on his face. Behind those glasses, his eyes were fixed intently on me.
“I was wondering if you would like to go to the drive-in movie theater with me tomorrow evening?” Tomorrow was Saturday.
At first I was flabbergasted and for several minutes I was at a loss of what to say or do. Minutes went by and then, I heard myself say, “Sure.” Huh? Why did I agree to go on a date with this man? Was it because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings? Was it because I had no plans for the weekend and going to a drive-in movie was better than staying home? Whatever the reason, I had accepted his invitation.
He looked very pleased. “I’ll pick you up at eight.”
I gave him my address. We said goodbye and I walked out of the classroom. I didn’t mention anything to my friends. I went home to the flat I shared with my mother and younger sister. My father had passed away two years ago. I went straight upstairs, showered and changed. Then, I went downstairs to have dinner. I didn’t say anything about going out on Saturday night. After dinner, I went up to my room and after brushing my teeth, I settled into bed and read The dreaded thread of fate. It was such a page-turner that it was after midnight when I had to force myself to close it and turn off the light.
It was over breakfast when I mentioned to my mother that I was going out with a friend that evening. She didn’t ask who it was so I guess she assumed that it was one of my regular friends. Or maybe she wanted to respect my privacy because I was 21, practically an adult.
I busied myself with chores and went grocery shopping. I had an early dinner and then showered and changed into a yellow blouse and denim skirt. After saying goodbye to my mother and sister, I went out onto the porch and waited. At exactly eight, I saw a car coming up the street and it stopped in front of the house. I ran down the steps and hurried to it just as he got out and walked around to the passenger-side to hold the door open for me. Such a gentlemen. I liked that.
We exchanged hellos before I climbed inside the immaculately clean and spacious car. As he got behind the wheel, I fastened my seatbelt. “You look great,” he said.
“Thank you. So do you.” He did. The black shirt and trousers looked casual but dressy at the same time. I love to see men wearing all black.
“The movie we’re going to see is The Tunnel of Love with Doris Day.”
I stared at him. Doris Day? My grandparents watch Doris Day movies. I tried to once when I was spending the weekend with them but I couldn’t. I couldn’t take the singing. I wondered if it was too late to call the whole thing off.
“What’s the movie about?” I asked.
“It’s about a married suburban couple who are unable to conceive a child and have to go through endless red tape to adopt one.”
“It doesn’t sound like a musical.”
“It isn’t. It’s a romantic comedy.”
That was a relief. The premise of the movie sounded interesting. On our way to the drive-in he talked about how his father had introduced him to the pictures of the past–the classics and how he had come to appreciate them now. “I have my father’s collection which he gave me before he died. Maybe one of these days, you could come over to my place and watch some of them.”
I smiled. “Sure.” What harm could there be in that?
We talked about other things like my graduation which was next year June a few months before my twenty-second birthday. He asked me if I had an idea of what I wanted to do after graduation. I told him that I was going to get an apprenticeship. I had done my research and it’s better for me than an internship. With a company like Get Apprenticeship, I can matched with companies looking to fill entry-level roles. I get to work in a fast-paced environment with opportunities for quick advancement.”
“That sounds like a good idea. You can also look into volunteering. It’s a way to gain some experience while figuring out what you want to do next. Or you can simply get a job. You’ll be getting experience as well as earning money until you find the job you want. You have a bit of time to seriously weigh all of these options before you make your decision. And if there’s anything I can do to help, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll be more than happy to do what I can.”
“Thank you, I will.”
When we got to the drive-in and after he parked, he asked me what I would like to eat. I was feeling a bit hungry as I had eaten around five and that was four hours ago. I asked him what he was going to have. He said he was going to have a burger, fries and medium drink. I told him that I would have the same. He went and got our meals while I unfastened my seatbelt and watched as more cars arrived. In minutes the lot was completely full.
The burger and fries tasted as good as they looked and smelled. We were done eating by the time the movie started. As it turned out, I enjoyed the movie very much. It was funny and heartwarming. “I really enjoyed the movie,” I told him as we were leaving the drive-in.
He seemed very pleased to hear that. “Good.”
We talked about it and when he dropped me home, he asked me to have dinner with him tomorrow evening. I accepted.
We had dinner at a nice restaurant about a half-hour drive outside the city. I figured that it was because he didn’t want to risk running into anyone either of us might now. After dinner, we arranged to see each other on Fridays and the weekends.
I still find him to be a bit too reserved but I enjoy being with him. It’s a Saturday evening and we are at his place. We had dinner and we just finished watching Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart. I’ve heard of the movie but never watched it. It’s my grand-father’s favorite Bogie film and I can see why. I liked it a lot. It took me a while to get used to and to like black and white movies because up to then, I’ve only watched colored movies.
“Would you like another glass of Cranberry?” he asked me.
He took my empty glass and set it down on the coffee table. Then, he turned to me and to my surprise, he kissed me on the mouth. It was a passionate kiss and it elicited intense feelings inside me. Heat surged through my body, settling in the pit of my stomach. Reaching up, I held his face between my hands and kissed him back. There we sat, kissing wildly. Then, we were on our feet. He broke off the kiss and grabbing me by the hand, he took me to his bedroom.
When we got there, he ripped off his glasses and tossed them on the bedside table. His face was flushed as we both frantically got undressed. When we were naked, he cupped my face and hungrily devoured my mouth. I pressed against him, moaning when I felt his arousal.
Still kissing, we fell on top of the bed. His mouth left mine and I lay there, eyes squeezed shut as he dragged it down my body, driving me crazy. By the time he was done, I wanted him inside me so badly that I begged him and that seemed to really excite him. Panting, he gripped my legs, pulled them wide apart and moved between them. I cried out and clung to him when he thrust his hips forward. The pain was brief and was soon replaced with mind-blowing pleasure. His moans were drowned out by my screams of passion.
Our lovemaking was so intense that when it was over, I lay there, feeling as if I had undergone a rigorous workout and was too exhausted to move. I never imagined that a man whom I thought was reserved could be so passionate. My lips and body tingled from his caresses. We lay there for a long time, trying to catch our breath. Then, he got up and turning to me, he said, “Let’s take a shower.”
I got up and followed him into the bathroom. We showered and got dressed. He took me home. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” he said when we were parked outside of my house. Tomorrow was Monday. I wondered if it would be awkward seeing him in class after what happened between us tonight.
“Yes, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Good night, Tanisha.”
“Good night, professor Kaufmann.”
“Good night, Ira.”
He leaned over and kissed me long and hard on my mouth, making my head spin before he got out of the car to walk around and hold the door open for me. As I got out of the car, he said, “I want to be your boyfriend.”
“I want that too,” I told him before I walked away.
We became romantically involved from that night but kept our relationship a secret until the day after I graduated. In September, we got engaged. We plan to get married next year in March. Initially, my mother had misgivings about Ira but after I told her that he was a Messianic Jew, she give us her blessing. My best friend, Shakira was thrilled and said, “I was right all along. I told you that he had a crush on you.”
I smiled. “It’s more than a crush,” I told her. “It’s love.”
She hugged me. “I’m so happy for you.” To celebrate my engagement, she treated me to lunch at an Indian restaurant close to the university on Saturday. Over Chicken Biryani we talked about about my wedding and which shops we would visit to find the perfect dress for me and one dress for her as my bridesmaid.
“Ikh hab dir lib, Tanisha,” Ira said to me as we stood facing each other in his living-room that Saturday evening.
“Is that Hebrew?”
“What did you just say to me in Yiddish?”
“I said, I love you.”
“I love you too,” I replied as I put my arms around his waist.
“How do you feel about spending Christmas in Berlin?” he asked.
“Yes. My parents would like to meet you.”
“It will be the first time I don’t spend Christmas with my mother and sister.”
“If you prefer to spend Christmas here, you can and you’ll meet my parents at our wedding in March.”
“No. I’d like to spend Christmas in Berlin with you and your parents.”
“Good. We’ll stay at a hotel, though. You see, they’re out-fashioned. While we’re under their roof, we can’t sleep in the same bed.”
“Won’t your parents be put out if we stayed at a hotel?”
“They may be but I’m sure they’ll understand.”
“I think staying at a hotel is a good idea. We can stay out late and not have to worry about waking your parents up. We can come and go as we please.”
“And we can make love.”
“Wouldn’t we disturb the other guests?”
“Yes, the last thing we want is for them to complain to management.”
“We make a lot of noise when we’re making love, don’t we?”
“Yes, we do. It just means that the pleasure is so great, that we can’t help expressing our enjoyment more audibly than most couples. I don’t think we should feel badly about it or apologize for it.”
“You’re right. Let’s hope that the hotel room is sound proof, though.”
He chuckled. “Let’s go and make some noise.”
I giggled as he swept me up in his arms and carried me off to the bedroom.