Toby Wilder and his family moved into
the vacant house located caddy-corner to ours the summer following my sophomore
year of high school. At first glance, I simply chalked him up as a geeky nerd
boy, not giving him a passing thought. I caught my first full-on view of him as
he and his little brother casually made their way past my house. They were
toting grocery bags while I was rinsing dishes, leaning against the kitchen
sink, gazing out our kitchen window and staring at nothing when the pair came
into view. His straw-like brown hair was sticking up every which way, as if
unfamiliar with the invention of a comb or brush. Not to mention, he was
sporting an ensemble of green plaid pants, a bright orange striped tank-top,
and hideous flip-flops which undoubtedly had begun their existence as house
slippers. With a dripping plate in one hand and a partially dipped sponge in
the other, I stared at him thinking, Jeez Louise, who dressed you this
morning? A circus clown?
Now, I’m not one to pass judgment on a
person’s clothing choice, considering my own wardrobe doesn't lean farther
than thrift store eclectic, but this was a bit out of left field even for my
own anaesthetized fashion taste. I’ve never given much thought to the opinion
of others on how I dressed myself, but never in a million years would I be
caught dead in a get-up like the new boy-next-door was wearing. Our eyes met
before my expression of curiosity could be concealed, but he simply smiled and
slightly lifted one eyebrow in lieu of a wave.
Honestly, I may have a fairly wild
imagination at times, but I declare, this boy purposely slowed his pace,
allowing me ample time to get an eyeful of all the unique awesomeness that is
Naturally, my mom was the self-appointed
neighborhood welcoming committee. As was customary, she promptly boarded her
welcome-wagon and baked enough pastries to provide a third-world country with
treats and pastries for a month. My mom’s radar had quickly amped to full alert
when she detected one of our new neighbors appeared to be around my age. Mom
was also quick to point out how lovely it is to see young people being polite
and helpful to their parents. There was definitely a tangible undertone in her
comment indicating I could take lessons from the new and seemingly nice young
No sooner was the oven dial turned off
before it’s suggested I should accompany her to the new neighbor’s house. After
all, it’s time to deliver her basket of tasties. When I say ‘suggested’, that
actually means ordered, because when my mom requests something of me ever so
nicely, there’s no doubt she’ll always get her way. She possesses a unique
talent whereby she subtly demands with an invisible layer of sugarcoated
frosting. It’s quite effective. In fact, it works damn near every time.
We made our way across the hot street
pavement to waste my precious weekend hours, because that’s precisely my mom’s
plan. Her plans are to make lifetime friends with these new adult neighbors. I
won’t stand a chance in hell of escaping until she’s finished delving into
their entire life history; which, for her, entails birth to present.
My arms are piled high with pastry
baskets and a sourpuss attitude that surrounded me like a black cloud as we
reached their front door. My finger happens to arrive on the doorbell first.
Suffice it to say, their doorbell has probably never experienced such a
workout. Sometimes you need to reach for any small amount of satisfaction when
an opportunity presents itself.
Of course, it’s Raggedy Andy or whatever
his name is who answers the door. There it is again, a tingling that swirls
around my stomach, like déjŕ vu, as his lips formed a genuine smile, lighting
up his entire face. As our gazes meet, my breath suddenly freezes in my chest
and I find myself completely mesmerized by his eyes, a hue I didn’t recognize.
He has been blessed with his own unique one-of-a-kind color. Like magic, they
seem to transform from a steely gray tint to a dark cobalt blue.
At this point I knew I was blatantly
gawking, but I’m not the only one with eyeballs zeroed in on a target. He has
focused his undivided attention on me as well and I’d wager a bet that he’s
mentally storing away a picture to revisit again and again. A strange,
irrepresible sense of freefall fills my mind, but feelings of losing control
are completely unfamiliar to me and not at all in my nature…it’s Awkward with a
A middle-aged woman who is clearly the
matriarch of this family arrives seconds later, opening the door wider and
inviting us inside.
My mom introduces herself as Marion, the
neighbor down the street. She should've just told it like it was, spit out the
truth and got it over with: I’m Marion and I will be in your face until you
like me, and I mean like me a lot! You will be my new best friend because I
suggest it. I will use my special powers, and best friends we will be.
Of course, the woman who introduced
herself as Candy Wilder was already a total goner. Yes indeed, that’s the way
my mom operated. Candy and my mom became best friends immediately.
My mom introduced me, making sure to say
it's Krista with a 'K', then Owens, and finally I found myself greeting Toby.
His arm eagerly reached out and we shook hands. I couldn't help noticing how my
arm hairs instantly stood at attention at even this formal touch. I retracted
my hand like a rattlesnake had bitten it. I was thankful and actually sighed in
relief when Toby’s brother Eric entered the room, interrupting our awkward
moment. Now that all the introductions had been made, it’s quite obvious Toby’s
dad was no longer in the picture.
My mom eventually obtained the skinny on
that sordid tidbit of gossip, because that was another one of her
superpowers—weaseling deep, dark secrets from tightly sealed lips. We learned
Toby’s dad had divorced Candy several years earlier to marry the bimbo
receptionist employed by his dental practice...might I add, the much younger
dental receptionist. Out with the old and in with the new.
From that day forward, Toby and I began
spending more and more time together. Looking past the weird exterior that
camouflaged the real Toby, I discovered he was truly a unique individual.
As I got to know him, I grew to
appreciate his quirky fashion sense and came to love not only his kindness but
also the way he was neither self-centered nor judgmental. As time passed, I
realized Toby was the most loving, compassionate, intelligent, soft-spoken, and
giving human being I've ever met.
I felt truly blessed to have him in my
life. He and I would talk to each other for hours about anything, everything
and nothing. He was wise beyond his years. If I ever had a bad day, Toby always
found a way to lift my spirits. He accepted me for who I was, which was the
complete opposite of him.
I have a few tattoos–okay, a lot of
tattoos–whereas his skin is unmarked. Sometimes words would spew from my mouth
before I considered the outcome. Truthfully, I’ve always blurted out shit that,
more often than not, would've been better left unsaid. My mouth has gotten my
ass handed to me on more than one occasion. The list could go on and on about
our differences, but the point to be made here is that Toby and I have grown to
love each other and have been locked at the hip since high school. He is my soul
mate and there has never been another man who holds my heart like Toby.
After high school, Toby and I both
attended the University of California, Berkeley, graduated together, and
established our careers. Toby is off-the-charts smart and has a
software-developing job he absolutely adores. He is quite the techie nerd. In
fact, the spare room in our home resembles a CIA computer lab. Indeed, he has
that much computer equipment. In addition, Toby is a volunteer firefighter in our
small town of Downey, Oregon. It’s a job he thoroughly enjoys, as it allows
him the opportunity to help the citizens of our community.
I am pleased to have secured a job with
one of the most respected bioresearch firms in the country. I’m currently
conducting research on a project geared toward developing a cure for
Toby and I purchased a small two-bedroom
house together about a year ago located six blocks from our moms. In truth, we
love our families and wouldn’t wish to have it any other way.
Both of our moms keep us well-fed.
Unfortunately, I inherited very few of my mom’s Suzie Homemaker skills. The
long and short of it is that my talents don’t extend to kitchen skills, whereas
both our moms' cooking creations are what legends are made of. They’re
delighted to deliver all manner of goodies to us in Tupperware containers and
we happily return the emptied bowls to be refilled. In my mind, we have a
perfect system in place. It works well for us!
If possibly you’re wondering why I chose
to start my story with such gushing, gooey girly-stuff about Toby, all I can
say is: treasure those you love and savor every single moment.
In a nutshell, they don't all last.
Today is the day! My nerves are shot all
to hell and back. I’m going to propose to Toby tonight. Okay, I realize this
isn’t the traditional way these things are customarily done, but here’s the
gist of it. Toby has asked me to marry him—not once but twice. He’s done the bended
knee with ring in hand marriage proposal twice during our relationship but
as of yet we still aren’t engaged.
The first time Toby proposed marriage
was the evening of our college graduation. We had always known we would tie the
knot one day. It was never a question of if, but when. The point of conflict
was the ‘when’, which we'd never discussed at length, much less agreed upon.
Once the festivities of our graduation had concluded and we were alone in the
restaurant’s garden area where a dinner in our honor had been held, it
happened. Toby was so handsome with his hair freshly combed and adorned in his
suit, which surprisingly color coordinated for a change. I honestly can’t
recall ever loving him more. He gently took my hand in his, reached into his
jacket pocket, and pulled out a ring box while slowly dropping to one knee.
With the realization of what was
forthcoming, a jolt of astonishment swept over me. Shocked was the emotion
shooting through my brain. My inner thoughts kept repeating the same words over
and over, No, no, no! Ahh shit, shit! Don’t do this, Toby! Please don’t do
Toby continued, oblivious to my
impending emotional breakdown. I loved Toby with my entire heart and would take
a bullet for him. But–yes, here comes the but–I wasn't ready to get married
“Krista Owens... I love and adore
you with all of my heart. We’ve been together for years, and my love for you
grows with each passing day. You’re a beautiful and truly special woman, and I
can’t imagine spending my life without you. I’d be honored to have you as the
mother of my children. Babe, I want to grow old with you. Will you please make
me the happiest man in the world and be my wife?”
The floodgates opened and tears began
gliding down my face. It broke my heart to disappoint Toby by telling him I’m
just not ready to be his wife. I was certain I was about to lose our
relationship, and with that, I would also lose my best friend, lover, and soul
I waited for Toby to rise so he could
look directly into my eyes. I’m hoping with all my heart he'll realize the
sincerity in what I am about to say.
“Toby, you know how much I love you. You
have to know that, right? I’m flattered you want to marry me. Truly, I am. The
thing is, well, ahh...it’s just that I’m not ready to get married yet.
We’ve just graduated, and our lives, our careers...everything, is up in the
air. We should be settled and secure before taking such a huge step. That
doesn’t mean we can’t be together as a couple, though, right? We can still live
together and work toward our goal of becoming husband and wife. Can we do
Toby hesitated and there was a silence
as a series of emotions flitted across his face. Hurt, frustration,
disappointment and, lastly, acceptance. Never anger though, because Toby didn't
have an ill-tempered bone in his body. That’s just the way he was built.
“Krista, I’ll wait however long it takes
for you to be my wife. I’m not going anywhere. I love you now and I’ll love you
forever. We’ll wait until you're ready. This ring will be close at hand when
you feel comfortable and the time is right. How about we go home and celebrate
our graduating with honors?”
Which is exactly what we did. We
celebrated most of the evening in our tiny one-bedroom off-campus apartment
with walls thin enough to almost see through, using very loud music to,
hopefully, block out the more ‘festive’ sounds eminating from our bedroom.
The second marriage proposal was
presented the evening we signed final escrow closing papers on our small home.
We were official homeowners…what a mind-blowing feeling that was! It was a
gigantic step into adulthood for both of us.
Once again, I declined Toby’s invitation
to be his wife. I felt we needed to get comfortable in our new home and
replenish our savings account before accumulating the expenses of a wedding.
The timing didn’t feel right. Toby was clearly disappointed, but accepted my
decision. He was willing to wait however long it took for me to catch up to his
mindset on the subject of matrimony.
This brings us to where we are today.
Toby adores his job and is making a rather hefty income. I received an
unexpected and generous salary increase this very afternoon. Our joint savings
account has grown into a sizeable nest egg and we've settled nicely in our
home, so there's absolutely no reason not to seal the deal. My heart is telling
me it’s the perfect time to tie the knot with the man I love.
Truth be told though, the major reason
I’m having a change of heart is I feel my woman-eggs getting antsy with each
passing day. It’s time to start creating those two point five kids. Perhaps
Toby should give some thought to constructing a white picket fence in our front
yard to go along with my little fantasy. However, you couldn’t pay me
enough to drive a minivan. I wouldn’t be caught dead in one of those suburban
housewife boxes with the ridiculous stick man figures plastered on the rear
windows if my life depended on it. Oh hell no, that’s not happening. Toby
maybe, but me...not in a million fucking years.
Toby just left the house for his
customary evening run so I’m rushing around preparing for our big moment. Holy
Cannoli, Toby’s going to be blown away when I pop the question. The wine is
chilling in the ice bucket with the delicate stemmed glasses arranged neatly on
the coffee table. There's a trail of rose petals strewn from the living room
floor, down the hallway, into our bedroom, and atop the bedspread. This evening
will be a night to be treasured and remembered. It'll be a night to tell our
children and grandchildren about.
I’m lighting the final candle in the
dimly-lit room as Toby enters our living room. He pauses just inside the
doorway to take in the transformation of our home from normal everyday living
to the ‘romantic, someone-is-sure-to-get- laid,’ setup. A cheesy grin lights
up his face as the realization that he’s going to be a lucky man tonight sinks
in and buries its mental anchor. We move toward each other, meeting in the
middle of the room without a single word having yet been spoken.
Our eyes lock as I reach for his hands.
I’m attempting to control my trembling as we stand facing each other, gently
caressing each other’s fingers. It’s urgent I do this now before my nerves
shatter into a million pieces.
Springing into action, I drop to one
knee while maintaining eye contact with the love of my life. Taking a deep
breath, I prepare myself for our lives to be forever changed from this moment
forward, if all goes as planned.
“Toby, I love you so much. You are my
best friend, my lover, and the man I want to be the father of my children.
There is no other man I would rather spend the rest of my life with than you.
Hopefully, I haven’t missed the opportunity to become your wife. It’s been said
third time's a charm. This is the third proposal, right? So, what I’m wondering
is... will you marry me?”
Oh holy Mary Mother of God, Toby frowns
and releases my hands. What the fuck? Now he’s wiping his palms down the sides
of his face, clearly trying to decide how to respond. Now I realize how he must
have felt when I declined his marriage proposals. It sucks big time ass. Here
it comes, wait for it, and wait for it…
Toby’s face is sporting a grim
expression as he begins to speak, and my heart drops to my stomach.
“Here’s the thing, Krista. It’s just
that...well...” I begin to tremble and my eyes are stinging with unshed tears.
“Oh, baby, come here. You know I’m just
messing with you! I’ll marry you. Of course I'll marry you! Nothing could make
me happier. Finally—YES! Let’s go start making those babies!”
With a loud whoop, Toby slings me over
his shoulder and I’m being carried down the hallway toward our bedroom. He
swings me in the doorway of our room a little too quickly because there is a
loud thwack as my head connects solidly with the door. Not the most romantic of
moments, but a goose egg isn’t about to dampen the mood of our evening.
“Oh, babe, sorry! So sorry. Did that
Toby pauses in front of his dresser to
quickly retrieve my engagement ring, where it’s been stored for a very long
time. Placing me upright on my feet, my future husband slides the gorgeous ring
onto my finger, where it has always belonged. He kisses my ring finger and we
fall together on our bed. Toby mentions he should take a shower because he is
sweaty from his run. A shower isn’t necessary, because by the time this evening
is over, Toby’s going to be drenched in all kinds of messy sweat.
Toby tries to take control as usual, but
tonight I want to be the lover in charge for our first go-around. There will be
multiple sexcapades happening between these sheets tonight. That you can
I whisper, “Wait, slow down, hold on.
Let me enjoy you for a while, okay? How about you just lie still and allow me
to savor you a little...yes?”
Toby’s eyes snap open and a mischievous
grin spreads across his face. In one quick motion, he slides off me and is on
his back with both hands placed behind his head.
“I’m all yours. Anything you want, you
know you don’t have to ask me twice.”
He’s downright smirking at me now. He’s
ready (totally ready if you know what I mean) and waiting to be lavished with
all my womanly bedroom expertise. Little does he realize what I have up my
“Okay, babe, but there's just one rule:
You can’t touch me. Your hands must remain right there behind your head. Deal?”
“Ahh okay, but there isn’t going
to be any pain, right? No sneaking in tattoos or any shit like that. We’ve
discussed limits. Tattoos are your thing, but I really don’t like needles.”
“Jesus, will you give it a rest? There
won't be pain so stop analyzing. You're entering buzz-kill territory.”
It’s one of the drawbacks of loving a
brainiac: they do tend to analyze every little thing into the ground and then
dig it up to re-hash it over and over.
“Sorry, you’re right...have your way
with me. By all means, proceed with all you’ve got.”
Now I have to get myself psyched again.
Climbing on top and straddling him below
the ribcage, I leaned down, brushing my breasts against his chest as our mouths
meet. The kiss begins softly, and when Toby attempts to insert his tongue in my
mouth, I pull away.
I spread soft butterfly kisses across
his face, working my way towards his neck. Reaching his ears, I take his
earlobe into my mouth and gently suck and tug on it until Toby’s breathing
becomes slightly raspy. Approaching his neck again, I kiss and gently suck my
way down to his chest, leaving pale red marks along the path. Arriving at his
nipples, I take turns moving from one to the other, swirling my tongue in
circles around the tips before sucking them into my mouth. Toby is squirming
beneath me, however, his hands remain clasped behind his head as instructed.
I’m nowhere near finished with what I
have planned. I whisper, “Baby, lie still and enjoy. There's more to
experience. Relax...don’t move.”
I spread kisses across his chest and
downward along his rock-hard stomach. Before arriving at the part of his body
craving the most attention, I spread his legs and also shower kisses on the
inside of his knees, working slowly up his thighs.
“Babe, you’re killing me here.” He moves
and reaches out for me, so I sit up, cross my arms under my bare breasts and
shoot him my notorious stink eye.
“What did we agree upon? You aren’t
supposed to touch me, right? Your hands are supposed to remain behind your
head. Would you like me to stop? If you do, simply say the word.”
“Oh, God no. Sorry, no way, don’t stop.
By all means proceed. Please don’t stop. Have your way with me. I promise not
to move my hands. I’m all yours…all of me.”
Spreading his legs further apart, I inch
my way up, again spreading kisses and little love bites onto his upper thighs
as I get closer to his glorious manly goods. Sitting upright, I observe the man
I love and see the naked desire in his eyes. I momentarily fondle my breasts to
present him with a show I’m confident he’ll enjoy (yes, Toby is a boob guy)
then gradually lower myself to his magnificent cock. Toby audibly catches his
breath as my tongue begins slowly circling the tip.
Gently grasping his balls in one hand, I
grasp his thickness with the other. He gasps and clutches our headboard when I
take him fully in my mouth, or at least as much of his length as possible. But
true to his promise, he doesn’t reach out to touch me. I’ll give him credit;
he’s keeping to his part of the agreement. I’ve established a rhythm of gently
massaging his balls while squeezing his shaft up and down to coincide with the
movement of my tongue and mouth. I hollow my cheeks and increase the suction
until I know Toby is on the verge of shooting his load in my mouth.
Here’s where my plan is going to come
into place. I’m familiar with my man and know exactly when he’s on the brink of
losing control. This is that time. A few seconds before Toby reaches his point
of climax, I release him and remove my mouth. Furthermore, I climb off and more
to sit beside him on our bed.
Glancing over at a bewildered fiancé, I
begin to chatter. “Gosh, you know, Toby, I’m really hungry right now...totally
thirsty, too. Maybe we could get up and make some snacks, or better yet, uncork
that bottle of wine. I’m pretty tired, too. Perhaps it’s time to get some
shut-eye. What do you think, babe?”
His eyes are like saucers. “What do I
think? Krista, what the fuck? Are you kidding me here? Seriously? My dick is
about to explode and you want to go munch on some cheerios and drink wine or
some such shit?”
At this point, I can’t contain myself
any longer. Attempting to speak between my spurts of laughter, I explain to
him, “Ha! Gotcha! Sucks to have your feelings played with, doesn’t it?
Payback's a bitch, right? Getting you back for dicking me around when I
proposed to you. How’s it feel?”
The light suddenly switches on in Toby’s
smart brainy head. Oh, he totally gets it now. Before I realize what's
happening, he has me flat on my back as I'm being tickled silly. He knows I'm
wickedly ticklish and he’s taking full advantage. We're flailing about on the
bed, wrestling and laughing so hard, tears begin streaming from my eyes.
Shortly after, we find ourselves locked
in a passionate embrace, the likes of which we’ve never experienced in all of
our years together. It feels as if we're consummating our union as a married
couple. The marriage may not have been endorsed and officiated on paper yet,
but in our hearts, I believe we both truly felt as one in that moment.