What Claire Saw

298

WARNING: Some explicit language and sexual references.

Jarred sipped his coffee and casually mentions that it was at a wedding that they connected. Claire sat very still and stared straight at the middle of his face. Right at the bridge of his nose actually. She thought about his use of the word “connected”. Right then she could see how it all unfolded. She could always see how things were with him. For many years she could see and he never really understood the clarity with which she saw. It was never what he said, it was always what he left unsaid that told the full story.

He had “connected” with the blonde, Texan flight attendant at a wedding.  It was his flatmate’s wedding in steamy, sticky Houston in late May. They “connected” in the air conditioned banquet room after the sweltering service that left everyone yearning for liquid relief both for hydration and numbing inebriation.

He had known the Texan for some time, five years in fact as casual acquaintances. They had not hooked-up in the past because they were always with other people, and there was never a spark between them strong enough to override the desire for who they were with at the time.

She was his flatmate’s girlfriend’s sister, so they drank beer in the company of others in sports bars and sometimes at the apartment when she was in town visiting. Tonight the Texan is a bridesmaid. Her sister is getting married.

He catches her eye for the first time during the service. A mere second of acknowledgement but well noted by both. He thinks about the fact that he hasn’t fucked anyone in a while and feels that familiar ache in his groin as he watches the bride and groom say their vows. Then later as she sits at the head table at the reception, she gazes at him across the parquet dance floor. At that precise moment he knows this will require no effort on his part.

They are in plastic, hotel banquet room air now. It smells like after shave, carpet cleaner and beef. The three course meal has been consumed. It was like every other wedding banquet meal, utterly unremarkable but which left some guests searching for mints or Tums. He has been drinking steadily since two o’clock. The table floral arrangements are starting to look wilted at the edges but he still manages to look fresh and isn’t oblivious to the looks he receives from both men and women in the room.

He makes his way over to her and they chat about nothing. He brings her a drink and they chat more about nothing. Her long, curling wand hair spills down over her shoulders and her syrupy southern accent holds his attention. Her breasts heave slightly out the top of her bridesmaid dress in the way that breasts in bridesmaid dresses often do. Her eye liner is smudged and her lipstick faded. They dance and neither of them are very good at it. It doesn’t matter though because it’s only an excuse for him to put his hands on her.

Everyone is drunk and groping someone by now.  The DJ plays every tune he is expected to play. It could be any wedding anywhere.  The crowd could be any crowd. He is feeling the vodka martinis now and he is eager for her attention. He feels that twitch in his groin again. His vision is a little off and he concentrates on the breasts and shoulders and Barbie curls in front of him.

They decide to walk outside for air and the heat hits them as they leave the building.  The night is like a heavy, wet rag thrown over them without warning and it’s almost hard to breath. They quickly decide to go back inside. Sweat had formed on her brow and at the base of his throat. They stumble against each other slightly and laugh like they are old friends except that they are not really.  It’s like every bridesmaid at every wedding leaning on the groom’s best mate toward the end of the night.

The newlyweds left a while ago. The guests are starting to drift up to their rooms or to their cars. The scene is now set. It is a scene that has been played out thousands of times before in plastic air in gaudy reception rooms at weddings. They both know it but in that moment they are playing out the scene like they wrote it and it is original and they play it well, as though someone paid to watch.

They sit in a hallway off the main banquet room on a padded bench. A burn mark in the cheap carpet by his foot catches his eye. As he stares at it the swirling pattern on the rug around the singed fibers makes him feel a little queasy. He adjusts his posture, takes a slow breath and turns to look at the Texan. He notices that she has a slight overbite. He has his arm around her and pulls her closer toward him. He can smell her foundation, sweat and stale perfume. Her curls are slightly stiff with hairspray still. They kiss. His tongue is in her mouth and the exchange is all alcohol, garlic and desperation.

They don’t speak. They go back to his room and they “connect” as his hand reaches inside her wet polyester underwear and he makes her come quickly. They “connect” as he fucks her while she wears that bridesmaid dress, all stained and creased and used. She giggles in that way that drunk girls do in hotel rooms even though she is far from being a girl. She thinks he must really like her but he only had to like her enough to get it up.

They fall asleep after some tired, slurred conversation while laying in each other’s arms. She marvels at the miracle of their union, how it was all meant to be. She ponders how after all this time their “connection” finally happened and how sweet fate can be. She thinks this might be love. At this point he isn’t thinking at all.

The next day they say they will stay in contact and he says all the things a nice guy says to a bridesmaid he just fucked. He has a hangover but is as attentive as any man can be under the circumstances and she is all full of his words, his gaze and his cum. He fucked his best mate’s wife’s sister and he is feeling like a champion. He also vaguely wonders if this may be something real.

Later he thinks about it. He likes blondes and he enjoyed this one quite a lot. All southern syrupy sweetness. She likes sport and she will treat her man like a good southern girl should. She is an air stewardess so he thinks she will be polite, well groomed and personable. She will be good to show off to his mates. She can fly anywhere frequently so distance is not an issue.

They sext frequently using their booze soaked encounter as fuel for their imagination. She comes to visit two weeks later for a weekend and it’s all beer and sunshine, skin and sweat. He is all charm and she is all his. And now he thinks they have a “connection”.

But they don’t really. Claire knows that the Texan is not someone who can reach his inaccessible heart, just another one that can effectively stroke his ego and his cock. He really thinks she might be “the one” though because he really doesn’t know any better and all that syrup sure can make it hard for a man to think straight.

October 8, 2015

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