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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chapter 19 to 21 and DEAR TEEN ME!!


I was on Dear Teen Me yesterday and forgot to post about it. I rebelled and took a day away from the computer. Sometimes I need that to stay sane. Not a good move, though. Please stop by and check out my post. You'll see me in my shiny blue disco dress, I promise!! 

Here are the next three revised chapters. More tomorrow! 

CHAPTER 19

MERMAID?

LEESIE HUNT / CHATSPOT LOG / 06/12 9:18 PM

Kimbo69 says: Where have you been?
Leesie327 says: Diving every day.
Kimbo69 says: Doesn’t it scare you?
Leesie327 says: Not anymore. I love it. I love it. I love it.
Kimbo69 says: You love it?
Leesie327 says: I’m totally certified now and I love it.
Kimbo69 says: Are you sure you didn’t mean certifiable?
Leesie327 says: I love it.
Kimbo69 says: What’s the appeal?
Leesie327 says: Michael in a wetsuit.
Kimbo69 says: Doesn’t impress me. I’m into skin myself.
Leesie327 says: Work with me, my friend. I’m doing the best with what he’ll give me. I especially love it in between dives when he peels his wetsuit half-off and lets it hang around his waist.
Kimbo69 says: Hmmm…the best of both worlds.
Leesie327 says: Sigh.
Kimbo69 says: You go diving every day just to see him in a wetsuit? That sounds like too much work. Doesn’t he walk around the apartment in boxers—a swimsuit at least?
Leesie327 says: Rarely shirtless.
Kimbo69 says: Too much temptation?
Leesie327 says: The rest of the guys do.
Kimbo69 says: Massive skin alert. Can I come visit?
Leesie327 says: It makes me nervous.
Kimbo69 says: Overheated.
Leesie327 says: Maybe that’s it. Gabriel’s the worst.
Kimbo69 says: I thought they were all hot.
Leesie327 says: He’s the only Speedo king.
Kimbo69 says: Pictures, girl. I need pictures.
Leesie327 says: Mark wouldn’t care?
Kimbo69 says: You should see what he looks at. No, you shouldn’t. It’s gross.
Leesie327 says: Well….my new phone does have a camera.
Kimbo69 says: Yes! Promise?
Leesie327 says: It shouldn’t be hard. He’s always in our room.
Kimbo69 says: Lucky Alex.
Leesie327 says: When they want to be alone, Alex shuts the door, and Michael and I get out of the apartment.
Kimbo69 says: Michael’s a prude?
Leesie327 says: He doesn’t want me around their influence. But Gabriel barges in every morning to wake Alex up. I’ve got zero privacy.
Kimbo69 says: Privacy is highly over-rated. You’ll get used to not having it.
Leesie327 says: I can’t say anything to Alex. She’s so happy. And Gabriel’s too romantic for words. Yesterday, he brought her breakfast in bed and called her “mi cielo.”
Kimbo69 says: What does that mean?
Leesie327 says: That’s what Alex said. And he murmured in that sexy accent of his, “There is no English for this. It means you are my heaven. Being with you is like being in heaven.”
Kimbo69 says: You should write that down.
Leesie327 says: I just did.
Kimbo69 says: How did Alex react to that?
Leesie327 says: I had to leave the room quickly.
Kimbo69 says: What about Seth and Dani?
Leesie327 says: Don’t see them much. They have to work all the time. And when they get off, they go into town to drink.
Kimbo69 says: I thought he drank because she left him.
Leesie327 says: Me, too. Now they hit the bars because she’s back.
Kimbo69 says: Maybe he just drinks.
Leesie327 says: You’re so perceptive.
Kimbo69 says: What’s your plan—now that you’re no longer handicapped.
Leesie327 says: Keep diving.
Kimbo69 says: That’s it?
Leesie327 says: That’s about all I can handle. Dive with Michael. Every day.
Kimbo69 says: You can’t do that forever.
Leesie327 says: I can try.


LEESIE’S MOST PRIVATE CHAPBOOK
POEM # 90, ICE

Michael’s on the balcony,
checking email before
he has to head out.
I fiddle with French toast,
pout, not going with—
boat’s full.

We’re out of eggs now,
bread, butter and bacon.
A walk to the store.
An hour on the beach
to work my tan
and twirl Alex’s free weights.

“Leese, there’s news.”
His voice finds me,
draws me to him.
“From who?”
He closes up his laptop.
“Stan the Man.”
His wizardly lawyer—
mine now, too.

Fright grips me
like all of the sudden
I grip Michael’s arm.
My stomach turns upside
down and a cold chill
in my veins makes
all my healed hurts
pulse together with pain.
“What?” Is all I can mumble.
Manslaughter? Vehicular homicide?
Reckless endangerment?
Will there be a trial or will
I just go to prison?

Michael trades me for the computer
on his lap, barricades
me in his arms. I take cover
in his the soft cotton T-shirt
hiding his chest.
He strokes my head. “Good news.”
“Do the police want me back?”
“No.”
“Stan can deal with the trial
without my presence?”
“What trial?”
“Just tell me the charges.”
“Driving too fast for conditions.
He already paid the fine.”
I close my eyes tight and my hands
ball up with bits of his shirt caught in them.
“You’re lying. Tell me the truth.”

He kisses the scars on the back
of my left hand where his ring shines
“There was ice on the road.”
I sit up and concentrate on his deep gray eyes.
“Ice?”
He presses his face alongside mine.
“The police say that’s why you crashed.”

“Ice?” I pull away from his tenderness.
My face knits into confusion.
“We were fighting—
like I told you—an awful fight—the worst.
I lost control. That’s why
we crashed. It’s my fault.
I killed him.
Not the ice.”
Michael’s hands cup my face.
“I believe you, babe. I do.
But ice was
on the highway, too.”

My eyes blink and I shiver.
“All hail—the Ice Queen cometh.”
Bitterness drips from my lips.
“Hush, babe. Don’t.”
He presses my head back down
to his chest. Holds me tight.
“Let’s call your dad tonight.
It’s time to mend more than
broken bones.”
“No.” I curl close to him,
trying to steal the warmth
from his body. Ice. I shiver.
He squeezes me. “Think about it.”
“No.”
He cradles me, kisses me,
leaves me curled
tight in a fetal prison
on the chaise lounge
contemplating the possibilities
of ice.

CHAPTER 20

SLIP-UP

MICHAEL’S DIVE LOG – VOLUME #10

Dive Buddy: Leesie           
Date:  06/17
Dive #: --
Location: Grand Cayman
Dive Site: kitchenette
Weather Condition: steamy
Water Condition: steamy
Depth: an inch too far
Visibility: clearing
Water Temp: hot
Bottom Time: two minutes too long
Comments:

            I’m lying on my cot in the living room trying not to wake up. I dozed again after everyone left for the 8 AM dive. I’m teaching at ten. Get to sleep in.
            The scent and sizzle of bacon Leesie’s frying up in the kitchen seems worth opening my eyes for.
            “Hey, sleepyhead.” She’s upbeat this morning. “You want some of this?”
            I sit up, rub sleep gunk out of my eye corners. “You know I do.”
            “Get over here and earn it then.”
            I stumble through the chaos of all the guys beds and crap to the kitchenette where she’s working in front of the stove. She’s wearing bikini bottoms and a tiny tank top. “You’re looking good this morning.” I hope she didn’t wear that in front of the rest of the guys.
            She tosses me a glance over her shoulder and sees that I can’t take my eyes of her butt. She giggles. “You’re a mess.”
            “Are you going to feed me like this every morning after we’re married?” I rest my hands on her hip bones and kiss her neck.
            She tilts her head to one side, and I keep moving my lips along her neck and shoulder.
            “Naw—I’ll put you on tofu—don’t want you getting fat.”
            My hands drift to her stomach. “You’re in no danger of that.” I close my eyes—caress her skin—enjoy the subtle changes I discover. “You taste good, too.” I chew on her neck some more.
            “That’s the bacon.”
            Banter. That’s all I get from her the past couple days. She won’t be serious—won’t accept the news we got from Stan for what it’s worth—won’t call her parents—won’t let me. She’s still the guiltiest person in the universe. Won’t let it go. Blames herself even more now. I’m not sure what to try next.
            Freak. I sucked too long on her neck. I rub the raspberry spot. “Sorry, babe.” I kiss it.
            She reaches back and strokes my cheek. “I’m a marked woman now.”
            “I didn’t mean to.”
            She turns a piece of bacon over with a fork. “Mean the next one or you don’t get breakfast.”
            “Babe!”
            She holds a crispy piece of bacon up and wafts it close to my nose. “Get to work.”
            I catch her mood. What will it hurt? “Okay. Okay.” I rub her bare shoulders and plant a kiss in the middle of her back. “Where do you want it?”
            She tips her head the other way and points to the spot where her neck and shoulder meet. “Let’s see how long you can hold your breath.”
            I laugh, hug her from behind, and start my free dive breathing cycles.
            “Stop stalling.”
             I blow air out all over her neck.
            She wriggles with pleasure.
            I inhale, inhale, pack it and then slowly, gently I place my lips back on her skin.
            She melts into me.
            My hands go back to her supple stomach. She feels so good. My lips suck harder and harder on her soft skin. She reaches up with one hand and combs her fingers through my hair, turns off the stove top and pushes the frying pan off the heat with the other.
            She’s got both hands in my hair now—won’t let me stop sucking on her neck. Not like I want to. I close my eyes. Immerse in the moment. My hands stroke her stomach with more and more intensity, drift to her ribs, higher—
            Freak.
            I touched her.
            I dart away and stare at my hands. “I’m sorry, babe. I’m sorry.”
            She slumps over the stove. “Did I gross you out that much?”
            “What? Stop it. That’s stupid.” I look up. “I just made you sin.”
            She turns around. “Come back.” She laughs. “Let’s sin some more.”
            I hate that laugh. It’s so not her. “Be serious. What do we do now?”
            She walks towards me. “Whatever you want.”
            I back up with my hands out in front of me to ward her off. “I mean to fix it.”
            “Don’t bother.” She close now. I could touch her if I dared. “Nothing can fix me.”
            “I’m calling your dad.” I head for my cell phone, but she gets there first.
            She backs away, clutching the cell phone to her chest. “You’re so not calling my dad.”
            I close my eyes—can’t look at her another second, or I’ll be all over her—try hard to think. What do we do? There’s something important I can’t quite remember. The red face of the president guy from her church back home—Jaron’s dad, no less—forms in my brain. I remember how angry I was when she told me she talked to him after our break up—told him about that night after the dance down by the pig barn when I marked up her stomach like I just stained her neck. “How about we call your president guy, then?”
            “Jaron’s dad? I’m not confessing to him.”
            My eyes open. I step towards her with my hand out for the phone. “But this wasn’t just making out or giving you a hickey. I crossed the line. Major sin—that’s what you used to call it.”
            “It doesn’t matter any more. Why don’t you believe me?” She puts the phone behind her back.
            “Because I’m still listening to the old Leesie.”
            “Don’t—she lost.”
            “Let’s find her. Please. Can Jaron’s dad help?”
            She scowls. “I don’t live there anymore. He’s not my branch president.”
            “Is there one here?”
            “No.”
            I pick up my laptop, flip it open, type, “Mormons in Grand Cayman” in the Google box. Yes. “Look, babe.”
            She won’t.
            There’s a picture of a small, gray boxy church with an unmistakable Mormon steeple. And a phone number.
            I snag Leesie’s phone out of her room. Dial. Get somebody’s wife.
            But she says he’ll be at the church tonight.


LEESIE’S MOST PRIVATE CHAPBOOK
POEM # 91, A BARGAIN

I want to steal the keys,
the car, and run,
but Michael makes me go with him.
I sit in the back of the makeshift
dive classroom, with my head
buried in my arms resting
on the folding table, and listen
to pens scratch and Michael’s voice
teach dive physics—one atmosphere,
two atmospheres, three atmospheres,
four.

I’m angry—want to hate him,
but his voice feeds my weakness,
my wanting, my love, my desire.
I dream his body, his hands on mine.
No retreat.
Only surrender.

It’s a relief to cool
down in the pool
after lunch, swim laps
with his students,
help them and win
a smile from Michael.

A smile that says,
I love you,
I want you—
just do this one thing.

I shake my head.
No, Michael, no.
No.
No.
No.


CHAPTER 21

A GAMBLE

MICHAEL’S DIVE LOG – VOLUME #10

Dive Buddy: Leesie           
Date:  06/17
Dive #:
Location: Grand Cayman
Dive Site: East End Pool
Weather Condition: sunny
Water Condition: turbulent
Depth: 10 ft.
Visibility: shifting
Water Temp: thermocline
Bottom Time: most of the day
Comments:

            After a long afternoon of back-to-back pool sessions, I hustle Leesie up to the apartment. “We need to hurry.” The president guy’s wife said we could see him at seven. It’s almost six. She said the church is close to the grocery store heading out of Georgetown—about forty-five minutes drive. Funny. I must have driven by it a hundred times and not noticed.
            “You can’t make me go.” Leesie stomps across the apartment into her and Alex’s room and slams the door.
            I’m on her heels. “Please, babe,” I croon into the door. I try the knob—not locked. I push open the door. What the heck. Gabriel’s always in there. Why not me?
            She’s sitting, scowling on her bed. “You can’t make me tell him anything.”
            “If you won’t”—I close the door behind me so the entire apartment full of tired dive guides won’t hear all our personal business—“I will. I need help.”
            “Divine intervention?”
            “Whatever it takes.”
            “I don’t want to talk to a stranger.”
            I sit next to her on the bed. “What you and I want”—I put my hand on her knee—“is massively irrelevant.”
            “You still want—?” She glances down at the bed.
            “That’s what I’ve always wanted. You know that. I don’t believe any of this stuff.”
            “But—”  
            “But you do. So it’s important. More important  than what I want.”
            She rests her head on my shoulder. “This is useless. Believe me. He’ll just shake his head and show me the door.”
            “I don’t think so.” I put my arm around her. “I’ve got a feeling—”
            She sits up, ducks my arm. “That’s rich. You’re getting revelation these days?”
            I hate that tone in her voice and the look she gives me. I look down, find her hand, grasp it in mine. “It’s just something in my gut that says we need to do this. Please, get ready.”
            “What do I get if I go? It’s going to be so humiliating.”
            I press her hand. “You’re wrong.”
            “Want to bet?” She makes a sound half-way between a snort and a laugh.
            “Sure.” I lean forward and kiss her forehead. “If it will get you in the shower.”
            She kisses me. “You could get me in the shower.”
            “Freak, you’re wicked.”
            “You love it.” Her lips are on mine again.  
            I want to lie down with her in that bed and forget all about that guy at the church, but I disentangle myself and stand up. “What’s the bet?”
            She runs her hands over the sheets. “If I’m right, we come back her and lock Alex and Gabriel out of the room.” She wrinkles up her nose. “No. Not here. If I’m right, we find a dark, lonely beach.”
            “And if I’m right?”
            “We’ll get married tomorrow.”
            I take her hand and pull her to her feet. “If I’m right—getting married?” I start to lose it and have to turn away from her. “You might not want to anymore.”
            She hugs me from behind. “Nothing can ever make me not want to marry you.”
            I turn around and clutch her hands in both of mine. “We both know that’s not true.”
            “You’re going to risk us”—light plays on my diamond on her finger, mesmerizing us both—“for a stupid feeling in your gut?”
            “Here’s the bet.” I kiss her one more time. “If I’m right tonight, babe. You gotta call your parents.”

LEESIE’S MOST PRIVATE CHAPBOOK
POEM # 92, CONFESSION

“Look at that! There it is.”
Michael turns his rental RAV
in the parking lot next to
the Grand Cayman Branch
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
He parks, turns off the ignition.
“Weird we never saw this.”
I asses the building—not a big chapel
but way nicer than where we meet back home.
“I guess we weren’t looking.”
He squeezes my shoulder.
“We’ve found it now.”

We find our way in, find
Pres. Bodden waiting in his office.
He stands—taller than Michael,
gray touching the close cut
fuzzy black hair at his temples.
“Sister Hunt?” His voice echoes
the Cayman richness of my doctor’s
accent.
I nod.

My hand disappears into the warmth
of his huge black hand. He releases
me and turns to Michael. “I didn’t
catch your name. Brother—?”
“Michael.” He shakes Pres. Bodden’s hand.
“I spoke with your wife.”
“Well. Come in. Come in.” Pres. Bodden
stands aside, holding open the door.
I hold Michael back. “He’s not a member.”
Pres. Bodden’s shoulders rise and his hands motion welcome.
“I can talk to you both.”
“Not tonight.” I’m worried Michael will say too much
or I will. I’ve promised to talk, but if I start
will I ever stop? There is too much Michael
shouldn’t hear—can’t hear—ever. “Wait, okay?”
He smiles courage at me and backs off.

I close the door, turn to the office.
Pres. Bodden sits and folds his large hands,
that seem made for putting on one’s head
to channel God’s power into the afflicted,
on top of his desk.
I take the chair he offers.
“How long have you been on Cayman?”
I count back—takes a moment to assess
the time. “Almost eight weeks, I guess.”
His gray-touched eye-brows rise and fall.
“I’m sorry we haven’t see you on Sundays.”

I stare at my toes sticking out of white sandals
resting on the standard blue Mormon church carpet.
He continues. “When is the last time you took the sacrament.”
“The Sunday before I left BYU.”
His hands come off the desk, he sits straighter, his brow
creases. “You’re a BYU student?”
“Was,” I whisper as the twin marks on my neck
pulse redder and redder. “I was.”
“The Lord gave you that great privilege,”
he tries not to let his disgust linger in his voice,
but fails, “and this is how you show your gratitude?”

He thinks I’m a slut breaking the honor code.
Fine that’s just what I’ll be. I stand up.
“That’s why I’m not going back.”
He stands, too. “Do you know how many
righteous youth want to go to BYU and can’t?”
I nod, hand on the doorknob. “I get the message.”
“No you don’t. Sit down, Sister Hunt.”
No one could resist his tone. I obey.

He sits, too, and glances at the ring glittering
on my finger. “Are you living with that young man?”
I pick a tissues from a box on his desk. “Michael. Yes.”
“Sleeping with him?”
“No.”
“Let me be clearer. Have you had sexual intercourse with him?”
“No.” But I want—I really, really want to.
I don’t say it aloud, but he hears anyway.

I concentrate on mangling the tissue.
“Are you humping?”
“No.”
“Petting?”
“He touched my breasts for half a second
this morning. Freaked out. That’s why I’m here.”
“You didn’t freak out?”
“No.”
“You don’t sound very repent, sister.”
“I’m not.”

His eyes squint into concentration
on the shredded tissue I’m littering
his desk with. “But you said he’s not a member.”
I push the mess towards him and sit back.
“He knows the rules.”
“God’s commandments.”
“He doesn’t believe in God, so I called them rules for him.”
His eyes move from one bright red Michael bite
on my neck to the other. “You’re living together
but not intimate at all?”

I look him square in the eye. “It’s an apartment.
Nine of us. Six guys. Three girls.
I share a room with a girl.”
“And your parents approve?”
I have to look away.
“My parents don’t know.”
He closes his eyes a moment,
and an old familiar feeling comes into the room.
His eyes open as he says, “You’ll have to move out.”
I push away the enticings of salvation that float in the air.
“I can’t. I won’t.”
Pres. Bodden looks at me with infinite sadness.
“I can’t help you then.”

I rise, get the door open this time.
“Wait—Sis. Hunt.”
“I don’t have anything more
to say.”
Pres. Bodden follows me to the hall.
“I want you to know, Sis. Hunt.
The Lord loves you.”

Michael sees, hears—
more than I want him to.
I rush to him. “I was right.”
He takes both my hands.
I squeeze his hard and whisper,
“You owe me now.”
Surprise, disappointment,
or surrender? I can’t read him.
“Are you done?”
“Yes.”
“No.”
The power  in Pres. Bodden’s voice
forces Michael’s eyes away from me
to my judge in Israel.
“Did she tell you”—Michael’s arm
surrounds me and his voice drops
to holy levels—“about
the accident? Her brother?”

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